Healthcare Business

Short Sellers Become More Wary of Big Biotech

The short interest data are out for the April 15 settlement date. Biotech companies are considered a riskier group of stocks, with big upside and big downside. FDA rulings can make or break them. A single failed clinical trial can mean disaster for a stock. 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the top biotech companies, without focusing on speculative companies.

The tax day (April 15) short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and for most of the selected stocks, short interest is down.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest drop to 9.75 million shares from the previous short interest reading of 10.3 million. The short interest for Amgen has risen to an elevated level after having taken a dip in recent settlement dates, recording the lowest levels on the year. Shares closed Friday at $167.91, in a 52-week trading range of $108.20 to $173.14.

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Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) saw its short interest fall to 2.6 million shares from the previous level of 2.79 million. The company is slowly approaching its lowest short interest readings back in November and seemingly returning to its recent historic levels. Shares closed Monday at $401.71, within a 52-week trading range of $275.39 to $480.18.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest increase only slightly for this settlement date, up to 14.68 million shares. The level for the previous settlement date was 14.60 million. Since March, Celgene has recorded two of its highest readings of the year, barring a spike last June. Shares of Celgene closed Monday at $118.71, in a 52-week trading range of $69.88 to $129.06.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest remain relatively flat at 57.43 million shares, up from 57.31 million. Investors seem to have increased their pessimism compared to recent months. Shares closed Monday at $103.69, in a 52-week trading range of $72.77 to $116.83.

MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) saw its short interest increase to 96.88 million shares. The previous reading for short interest was 95.72 million. Short interest for MannKind appears to have steadily increased to its 52-week high. Shares closed Monday at $4.80, in a 52-week trading range of $4.45to $11.48.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest decreased to 3.30 million shares, up from the past level of 3.45 million. This current reading and the most recent three are some of the highest on the new year. Shares closed Monday at $180.08, in a 52-week trading range of $147.81 to $203.30.

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