Short Sellers Run for Cover From Major Biotechs

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Companies within the biotech industry are considered a riskier group of stocks, with big potential upside and big potential downside. In fact, a cure or incredible new breakthrough in cancer or Alzheimer’s disease will be worth more than any risks from Brexit or political rhetoric from the campaign trail. One way of gauging this is the short interest report for each company.

FDA rulings can make or break the biotech sector, and short sellers and mega-bulls often go to war against each other in these companies. After all, if a single failed clinical trial can mean disaster for a stock, then some short sellers can argue for a stock implosion down the road.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the top biotech companies, without focusing on speculative companies. The August 31 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and short interest decreased for most of these selected biotech stocks.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest decrease slightly to 8.01 million shares from the previous level of 8.10 million. Shares closed most recently at $172.04, in a 52-week trading range of $130.09 to $176.64.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) had its short interest retreat to 2.16 million shares from the previous 2.53 million. The stock closed Monday at $302.66, within a 52-week range of $223.02 to $333.65.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date decreased to 5.86 million shares from the previous 6.09 million. Shares closed most recently at $106.85, in a 52-week range of $93.05 to $128.39.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest decline to 16.13 million shares from 17.37 million in the previous period. Shares closed Monday at $78.85, in a 52-week trading range of $76.67 to $113.31.

MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) saw its short interest increase to 95.64 million shares. The previous reading was 87.82 million. Shares closed most recently at $0.72, in a 52-week trading range of $0.64 to $3.79.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest fell to 5.05 million, compared to the 6.03 million on the previous settlement date. Shares closed most recently at $129.29, in a 52-week range of $110.56 to $193.45.