Genentech 4th Quarter Report Leads Biotech Rally

by: H.S. Ayoub

Biotech stocks had a great day last Thursday as both the Nasdaq (^NBI) and the Amex (^BTK) biotechnology indices were higher by more than 1% each.

Genentech (Private:DNA) lead the broad biotech rally, gaining more than 4%, as the company released impressive 4th quarter numbers. Earnings were $0.61 a share excluding items, on revenue of $2.7 billion. Consensus estimates called for $0.56 a share on revenue of $2.55 billion.

Companies that do business with Genentech also gained on the day. PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ:PDLI) receives loyalty payments from the sale of Herceptin and Avastin, Genentech's leading cancer drugs. OSI Pharmaceuticals (OSIP) and Genentech co-market the oncology drug Tarceva. Both companies gained 2% and 5% respectively.

Healthcare Technologies Ltd.
(HCTL) of Israel gained more than 22% during regular trading hours, and another 6% in after hours, following the announcement that the company's stock has met compliance with the Nasdaq and will continue to list on the stock exchange. The diagnostic test kits maker scrapped plans for a reverse split after it had met the requirement for the stock to trade above $1 for 10 consecutive days.

Canadian drug maker Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (ASPV) gained more than 4% after the company released better than expected preliminary fiscal year revenue numbers. Annual revenue reached $215 million while analysts were expecting $212.6 million. The company will release its annual report on February 7.