Short Sellers Have Mixed Views on Major Biotechs

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The short interest data are out for the most recent settlement date, September 30. Generally speaking, companies within the biotech industry are considered a riskier group of stocks, with big potential upside and big potential downside.

As we have said before, 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 September 30 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and short interest moves in these selected biotech stocks were mixed.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest decrease to 8.30 million shares from the previous level of 8.72 million. Shares closed most recently at $164.32, in a 52-week trading range of $139.02 to $176.85.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) had its short interest increase slightly to 2.45 million shares from the previous 2.31 million. The stock closed Tuesday at $298.30, within a 52-week range of $223.02 to $333.65.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date increased to 8.15 million shares from the previous 6.95 million. Shares closed most recently at $101.64, in a 52-week range of $93.05 to $128.39.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest decline to 13.24 million shares from 14.45 million in the previous period. Shares closed Tuesday at $73.82, in a 52-week trading range of $73.56 to $111.11.

MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) saw the number of its shares short increase only slightly to 99.70 million. The previous reading was 99.19 million. The stock closed most recently at $0.60, in a 52-week range of $0.55 to $3.79. Note that MannKind is one of the most shorted Nasdaq stocks.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest increased to 5.58 million, compared to the previous level of 4.88 million. Shares closed most recently at $121.77, in a 52-week range of $110.56 to $193.45.