Major Pharma Short Interest Continues to Recede

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The short interest data have been released for the April 29 settlement date. Pharmaceutical companies usually are involved in a lengthy process in getting their drug candidates to market through clinical trials. There is a fair amount of risk involved, should a study come back negative or a candidate not be approved. Conversely, if a drug is approved or passes a clinical trial, there can be big upside.

The April 29 short interest data have been compared with the previous figures, and for most of the selected pharmaceutical stocks short interest decreased.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) saw its short interest fall sharply to 108.39 million shares from the previous 149.82 million. Shares of Pfizer closed Tuesday at $33.50, within a 52-week trading range of $28.25 to $36.46.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) saw a decrease in short interest to 27.68 million shares from 30.40 million in the previous period. Merck shares closed Tuesday at $54.68, in a 52-week range of $45.69 to $61.70.


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) short interest increased to 24.61 million shares. The previous level was 22.40 million. The current level is the highest in the past 52 weeks. Shares of Teva closed Tuesday at $52.87, in a 52-week range of $50.00 to $72.31.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) saw its short interest decrease to 19.64 million shares from the previous reading of 21.50 million. Shares closed Tuesday at $71.53, within a 52-week range of $51.82 to $73.06.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) short interest decreased to 20.99 million shares, compared to the previous level of 21.76 million. Short interest has backed way off its highest level of the past year last May. Shares of AbbVie closed Tuesday at $63.74, in a 52-week trading range of $45.45 to $71.60.