Short Sellers Raise the Stakes in Major Biotechs

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The short interest data are out for the most recent settlement date, January 12. 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 Donald Trump won the presidency, but now that the fate of the ACA is uncertain, 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 January 12 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and short interest moves in the selected biotech stocks were mixed.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest rise to 9.67 million shares from the previous level of 8.99 million. Shares were last seen at $189.70, in a 52-week trading range of $152.16 to $196.03.

Short interest in Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) decreased to 3.40 million shares from the previous 3.67 million. The stock recently traded at $347.20, within a 52-week range of $244.28 to $354.28.

Celgene Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date decreased to 13.04 million shares from the previous 13.62 million. Shares were changing hands at $104.35, in a 52-week range of $94.55 to $147.17.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest rise to 21.80 million shares from 17.98 million in the previous period. Shares were trading at $81.05, in a 52-week trading range of $70.05 to $82.47.

The number of MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) shares short increased to 32.97 million. The previous reading was 32.50 million. The stock was last seen at $2.80, in a 52-week range of $0.67 to $6.96.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest rose to 6.65 million shares, compared to the previous level of 5.69 million. Shares were trading at $125.35, in a 52-week range of $96.18 to $149.34.