Short Sellers Hike Their Bets in Major Biotechs

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The short interest data are out for the most recent settlement date, October 15. Generally speaking, companies within the biotech industry are considered to be a riskier group of stocks, with big potential upside and big potential downside.

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 October 15 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and short interest in most of the selected biotech stocks increased.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest rise slightly to 10.29 million shares from the previous level of 10.24 million. Shares were last seen trading at $187.88, in a 52-week range of $163.31 to $210.19.

Short interest in Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) increased to 3.20 million shares from the previous 3.09 million. The stock recently traded at $302.05, within a 52-week range of $249.17 to $388.67.

Celgene Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date grew to 11.55 million shares from the previous level of 10.22 million. Shares were changing hands at $74.71, in a 52-week trading range of $74.13 to $110.81.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest increase to 15.05 million shares from 13.22 million in the previous period. Shares were trading at $68.01, in a 52-week range of $64.27 to $89.54.

The number of MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) shares short rose to 43.07 million. The previous reading was 40.84 million. The stock was last seen at $1.77 a share, in a 52-week range of $0.98 to $4.05.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest decreased to 4.25 million shares from the previous 4.41 million. Shares were trading at $110.99, in a 52-week range of $102.10 to $140.77.