Oncolytics' Rough Ride


Several weeks ago, I stated that Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (ONCY) was poised to climb. That still remains the case.

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(Image from finance.google.com; to say it's been a rough three weeks would be an understatement.)

There was much gnashing of teeth when the company announced that they would be issuing new shares. Shareholders weren't upset so much about the issuing of new shares, simply that they were issued at $4/share when the price was up around $4.70/share. After the issuance of the new shares, their price predictably fell to around $4/share for the week that the offering was ongoing. The price has declined further from its close on February 25 and is currently at $3.35.

The decline is showing that some investors are restless. Some investors are nervous and bailing out of this stock, which is quickly becoming a bargain. A decline in price of 20% over three weeks is never fun, but the fundamental opportunity of the stock is unchanged.

All in all, the decline in price seems to be a bit of an overreaction. While the shares have been diluted, investors weren't buying or holding onto this stock expecting some kind of high dividend yield. They're expecting growth, and growth in price, spurred by results of clinical trials. The approximately $32 million that was raised from the stock offering ensures that there will be more clinical trials, which produced some very positive Phase II results released about a month ago.

Additionally, Oncolytics brought in a new General Counsel with a wide-range of background experience stretching across the legal and medical research fields. With ten years of experience on both sides of the US-Canada border, he seems to be the sort of person Oncolytics will need on board if they achieve the results that cancer patients and investors are hoping for. It potentially signals that Oncolytics expects those kinds of results as well, and soon, rather than just hoping for them in the long term.

Matt Coffee, Oncolytics' COO, recently spoke at the 2013 RBC Capital Markets' Healthcare Conference. He gave some updates for those who were unaware of the progress of their Reovirus. He also stated that the results of their unblinded pancreatic study would likely be announced in the second half of 2013. A similar ovarian study's results are expected to be announced in the 2nd half of 2013 as well. A larger study related to lung, prostate, breast and colon should come out late this year or early in 2014. He was also upbeat about the eventual manufacturing costs of Oncolytics' Reovirus, stating that they would be relatively low.

Investors are likely not taking into account the long-term value inherit with the other randomized studies and are instead focusing on only the head-and-neck results and that new shares were issued. The smart investors should be taking the long view on this stock. They should definitely be considering picking up more shares as well, if the low price of this stock continues.

Disclosure: I am long ONCY. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.