The biotech and biopharma sectors are two of the most volatile in the market. The latest trial results or FDA comments that cause stocks in this space to soar or crater. These sectors are not for the investor that wants to avoid volatility within their portfolio.
It is for this reason I employ something I call "Shotgun Investing". Simply put, I spread my bets around by taking smaller positions in more stocks that I do in any other sectors. One must accept that this part of your portfolio will have frequent blowups, which should in time be made up by the occasional five and ten bagger.
Here are two speculative biopharma plays that fit within this strategy. Both stocks are substantially below the median price target that the analysts that cover the shares have on these equities.
Synergy Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SGYP) is a small biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development of drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders and diseases. SGYP currently is at $4.30. The median analyst price target held by the six analysts that cover the shares is north of $10 a share. Price targets from $8.50 a share to $23 a share.
Insiders are also enthusiastic about the company's future based on their net insider purchases so far in 2013. Numerous insiders have made frequent and incremental buys over the year totaling more 70,000 shares in aggregate.
Synergy just started a pivotal Phase III for "plecantide" which is a treatment for chronic idiopathic constipation. The company also has over $80mm in net cash on its balance sheet. This is more than 2 ½ years of funding for its current operational burn rate.
Synta Pharmaceuticals (SNTA) is another small biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule drugs for treating severe medical conditions, including cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Like Synergy Pharmaceuticals, its stock goes for less than $5 a share.
The six analysts that cover the stock foresee a much brighter future than investors are currently giving Synta in the market. The median price target on SNTA is north of $16 a share. The company's balance sheet is flush after a 12mm secondary share offering recently. Encouragingly insiders bought over $19mm of that offering.
The company's lead product is called ganetespib which is a second-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. The company is currently testing ganetespib in a phase 3 setting with data due out next year. Some have compared this company's potential with Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX) which has soared over 500% so far in 2013.
In summary, both of these highlighted biopharmas are extremely speculative but fit well with the "Shotgun Investor" philosophy I outlined in the opening of this article. Both are way under the consensus analyst price targets, have promising compounds and have had recent insider buying as well.
Disclosure: I am long SGYP. 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.