5 Big Biotechs Not Keeping Up at All With Hot Biotech Sector in 2015

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The health care sector and biotech in particular have been on fire so far in 2015, but some biotech stocks in the group just are not carrying their weight. The two top biotech exchange traded funds (ETFs) are up an average of 20% so far in 2015. 24/7 Wall St. has identified the five worst-performing biotech stocks with market caps that are still above $400 million, in order to avoid identifying the microcap stocks that have no weighting in any of the key indexes.

We have included the performance of each and add in color, as well as the consensus price target and 52-week range. These are the five worst performing biotech stocks of 2015.

Cerus

Its shares is nearly 32% lower year to date, and Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS) enrolled its first patient in the TReatment UsE (TRUE) study in mid-March. The goal is to make the INTERCEPT Blood System (produced by the Red Cross) available to regions in the United States with outbreaks of chikungunya and dengue virus under an expanded access investigational device exemption. However, this study has been unable to turn around Cerus’s huge fall when it reported its last earnings.

Cerus shares were trading at $4.03 on Friday’s close. The consensus price target is $8.25, and the stock has a 52-week trading range of $3.48 to $7.03.

ALSO READ: 4 Fresh Biotech Stock Picks With Targets 50% to 100% Higher

Nektar

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) shares were down a total of 22% year to date. It has seen a steady drop over the course of the first quarter of the year. For a second, the company thought it had a chance at recovery when its Phase 3 results for NKTR-102 were released in mid-March. The results were not positive and they did not achieve statistical significance, ultimately cascading the shares.

Nektar shares closed trading at $11.95 Friday. The consensus price target is $15.42, and the stock’s 52-week trading range is $10.32 to $17.53.

Idera Pharmaceuticals

Shares of Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IDRA) are down 19% year to date. At the beginning of April, the company reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted orphan drug designation for IMO-8400 for the treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The company is currently conducting a clinical trial of IMO-8400 in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL. This whole time, shares have been slowly edging lower, signaling increased pessimism in investors’ outlook.

Idera shares ended the week at $3.34, in a 52-week trading range of $1.94 to $5.48. The consensus price target is $7.00.

ALSO READ: Biotechs Raise New Capital in Droves

BioDelivery Sciences International

The shares here are down 17% year to date. BioDelivery Sciences International Inc. (NASDAQ: BDSI) announced at the end of March that its treatment for pain related to diabetic neuropathy did not meet its Phase 3 endpoint goals. This alone dropped the stock drastically, about 24% in one day. This also offset gains that it had earlier in 2015.

Shares closed trading Friday at $9.46. The consensus price target is $19.43, and the stock has a 52-week trading range of $7.40 to $18.48.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) is down roughly 20% year to date and has seen its shares slowly slide over the course of the first quarter, despite what would seem like relatively good news on the surface throughout this time. BCX4161 was granted a fast track designation by the FDA in January, and in March the company won a contract to continue Ebola drug development, which pulled it out of an even deeper hole.

BioCryst shares ended Friday’s trading at $9.78. The consensus price target is $17.70. Shares have traded hands between $7.29 and $14.62 in the past year.

ALSO READ: Huge Biotech Index Rebalance Means Massive Buy Orders for These 4 Stocks

24/7 Wall St. made a reference to the two key ETFs being up an average of about 20%. To show just how strong the performance has been, the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (NASDAQ: IBB) is up 17.5% and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEMKT: XBI) is up 23.9% so far in 2015.