Short Sellers Grow More Selective on Major Biotechs

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The short interest data are out for the most recent settlement date, April 13. Generally speaking, companies within the biotech industry are considered to be a riskier group of stocks, with big potential upside and big potential downside. The health care sector in general has rallied since Trump took over the presidency, but now that his repeal of the ACA fell through, the health care rally is called into question.

As we have said before, FDA rulings can make or break the biotech stocks, 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 April 13 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and moves in the selected biotech stocks were mixed.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest decrease to 7.75 million shares from the previous level of 8.84 million. Shares were last seen trading at $164.70, in a 52-week trading range of $133.64 to $184.21.

Short interest in Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) increased ever so slightly to 2.60 million shares from the previous 2.58 million. The stock recently traded at $286.89, within a 52-week range of $223.02 to $333.65.

Celgene Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date decreased to 8.96 million shares from the previous 8.93 million. Shares were changing hands at $125.52, in a 52-week range of $94.42 to $127.64.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest decrease to 12.06 million shares from 12.72 million in the previous period. Shares were trading at $67.12, in a 52-week trading range of $65.38 to $101.78.

The number of MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) shares short increased to 21.58 million. The previous reading was 19.49 million. The stock was last seen at $0.90, in a 52-week range of $0.41 to $2.38.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest increased to 4.34 million shares, compared to the previous level of 3.53 million. Shares were trading at $120.55, in a 52-week range of $109.12 to $157.02.