Big Biotechs Confound Short Sellers

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The short interest data are out for the most recent settlement date, March 29. 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 March 29 short interest data have been compared with the previous report, and short interest moves in these selected biotech stocks were mixed.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest rise to 10.82 million shares from the previous level of 10.70 million. Shares were last seen trading at $192.98, in a 52-week range of $165.22 to $210.19.

Short interest in Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) increased to 3.56 million shares from the previous 2.87 million. The stock recently traded at $237.58, within a 52-week range of $216.12 to $388.67.

Celgene Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CELG) short interest for this settlement date decreased to 14.61 million shares from the previous level of 18.51 million. Shares were changing hands at $94.09, in a 52-week trading range of $58.59 to $95.30.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest increase to 12.85 million shares from 11.35 billion in the previous period. Shares were trading at $66.09, in a 52-week range of $60.32 to $79.61.

The number of MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) shares short decreased to 34.11 million. The previous reading was 37.39 million. The stock was last seen at $1.84 a share, in a 52-week range of $0.94 to $3.04.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest decreased slightly to 4.00 million shares from the previous 4.04 million. Shares were trading at $137.65, in a 52-week range of $92.56 to $141.80.


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