Seeking Alpha
Long/short equity, contrarian
Profile| Send Message|
( followers)  

By Bert Wilkison

Below is a list of the best performing, heavily-traded biotech stocks of the year, thus far, that are trading under $10.00 a share.

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 32.43%

Geron is developing biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases. It is engaged in the discovery and development of therapeutic and diagnostic products for oncology and human embryonic stem cell therapies.

Its stock currently trades around $1.96 with 134.47M shares out, giving it a market cap of $257.69M. Institutional ownership stands at just 31% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 7.73M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $6, with the highest estimate being $7.

(Click to enlarge images)

Data

BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BPAX)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 28.52%

BioSante is still described as a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing products for female sexual health and oncology. Its products for female sexual health, menopause, contraception and male hypogonadism include its gel formulations of estradiol or testosterone and combinations of estrogen, progestogen and androgen.

Its stock currently trades around $0.645 with 110.01M shares out, giving it a market cap of $70.99M. Institutional ownership stands at about 32% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 18.80M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target for this stock, as currently reported at this time, is irrelevant. The company has a somewhat cloudy and uncertain future at this time.

Data

Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 18.69%

Exelixis is a biotechnology company committed to developing small molecule therapies for the treatment of cancer. It has focused its resources and development efforts on cabozantinib (XL184). It also has a portfolio of other compounds.

Its stock currently trades around $5.62 with 129.69M shares out, giving it a market cap of $728.83M. Institutional ownership stands at 71% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 14.53M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $5, with the highest estimate being $6.

Data

CEL-SCI Corporation (NYSEMKT:CVM)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 16.59%

CEL-SCI is engaged in the business of Multikine cancer therapy, new cold fill manufacturing service to the pharmaceutical industry, and ligand epitope antigen presentation system technology, with two products: hemagglutinin type 1 and neuraminidase type 1 swine flu treatment for H1N1 hospitalized patients and CEL-2000, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment vaccine.

Its stock currently trades around $0.338 with 229.89M shares out, giving it a market cap of $77.70M. Institutional ownership stands at just 5% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 7.79M shares. There is no applicable price target for this stock.

Data

Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 15.08%

Novavax is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing recombinant vaccines. Its technology platform is based on the virus-like particles (VLPs). The VLPs are genetically engineered three-dimensional nanostructures, which incorporate immunologically important recombinant proteins.

Its stock currently trades around $1.45 with 114.97M shares out, giving it a market cap of $166.71M. Institutional ownership stands at a mere 33% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 9.42M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $4, with the highest estimate being $6.

Data

Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SVNT)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 13%

Savient is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on commercializing KRYSTEXXA in the U.S. and completing the development and seeking regulatory approval outside of the U.S for KRYSTEXXA, particularly in the E.U.

Its stock currently trades around $2.52 with 71.47M shares out, giving it a market cap of $180.11M. Institutional/inside ownership stands at roughly 100% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 27.32M shares. The consensus analyst 12-month price target is $3.50, with the highest estimate being $10.

Data

Bionovo, Inc. (OTC:BNVI)

Price Increase Year-To-Date: 11.92%

Bionovo is a development-stage enterprise engaged in the development of pharmaceuticals, derived from botanical sources, to treat cancer and women's health. Its drug candidate, Menerba, represents a class of receptor sub-type selective estrogen receptor modulator, for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms of menopause, or hot flashes.

Its stock currently trades around $0.260 with 54.56M shares out, giving it a market cap of $14.19M. Institutional/inside ownership stands at a meager13% and the total reported short interest as of 01/13/12 was 248k shares. No analyst price targets to mention.

Data

Most of the above names are what I would call risky business, and many are just playthings for the machines. Momentum players and day traders have no doubt profited tremendously from some of them. Some look like tickers I would consider for future short candidates. As always, exercise extreme caution when dealing in biotechs.

Source: 7 Best-Performing, Heavily Traded Biotechs Of The Year Under $10