Short Sellers Become More Focused in Major Biotechs

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The short interest data are out for the August 14 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 August 14 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and short interest in the selected stocks was mixed for this settlement date.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest continue to back off to 7.53 million shares from the previous level of 8.58 million. Shares closed Tuesday at $145.19, in a 52-week trading range of $127.67 to $181.81.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) had its short interest rise to 2.68 million shares from the previous 2.36 million. Shares closed Tuesday at $281.74, within a 52-week trading range of $265.00 to $480.18.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date decreased to 10.64 million shares from the previous reading of 11.21 million. Since March, Celgene has recorded a few of its highest readings of the year, but now short sellers appear to be backing off. The mid-May level was the highest short interest reading year to date. Shares of Celgene closed Tuesday at $112.70, in a 52-week range of $83.16 to $140.72.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest rise to 21.73 million shares, from 18.74 million in the previous period. The previous reading was the lowest on the year. Shares closed Tuesday at $102.56, in a 52-week trading range of $85.95 to $123.37.

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MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) saw its short interest increase to 121.78 million shares. The previous reading was 116.06 million. This is the second highest reading on the year. Shares closed Tuesday at $3.31, in a 52-week trading range of $3.29 to $7.88.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest decreased to 4.61million, from the previous level of 4.89 million. The mid-June level was far and away the highest reading on the year, and since that time shares have backed off significantly. Shares closed Tuesday at $165.44, in a 52-week range of $150.06 to $208.88.