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After finally showing some ability to keep up with the market after severe underperformance, the universe of cancer stocks wasn’t the place to be last week.

The lists below, with data from StockVal, are comprised of domestic companies primarily with market caps in excess of $50mm, ranked by the return this past week. If the reader believes that there are erroneous inclusions or exclusions, feel free to let me know.

Despite lagging the market, there were several double-digit gainers and just one big loser. The entire universe returned a median of .5%, but a mean of just 0.1%, suggesting underperformance relative to the broad market by 90bps and 130 bps respectively. The week was quite big in terms of news for biotech in general, as there were several deals announced. While the stock actually made the “loser’s” list, Ariad (NASDAQ:ARIA) was involved in a deal with Merck (NYSE:MRK). Forbes had an interesting perspective. “RNAi” was the buzzword of the week, with Alnylam (NASDAQ:ALNY) inking a deal with Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY). Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) initiated a huge share repurchase, while Genentech (DNA) kicked off earnings season with a solid report (that met with more of the same – selling). The NY Times (registration required) had a very interesting article on Saturday about Biogen Idec’s Zevalin (as well as Bexxar), which as most are aware has been a huge dud. For those who don’t think that doctor’s sometimes put their own interests first, it is a must-read

Genta (NASDAQ:GNTAD) was the only big loser on the week, receiving a NASDAQ listing extension as it completed its 1-6 reverse split (not a good sign!). While it is on the list, its market cap is actually 1/6 of what is listed above (and will be excluded from this report in the future). Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) led the way this past week, reversing much of its loss on the year thus far. The stock ran up in front of its 7/17 Analyst Day in NYC, with the company reporting initiation of a Phase I trial (advanced NSCLC) and a Phase I/II trial (vaccine for AML). Alfacell (OTC:ACEL) appears to be off to the races on continued positive reception to its ONCONASE. The stock is covered by only a single analyst, who has a .24 estimate for two-years out. I don’t know much about frog RNA, but this one is hopping! The company has a small public float, and insiders have been buying near $2 over the past year. BioCryst (NASDAQ:BCRX) jumped early in the week after receiving a SPA from the FDA on its Fodosine (cutaneous T-cell lymphoma) clinical development. Micromet (NASDAQ:MITI) continued to bounce back from a drubbing in the prior week that was related to a financing as well. SGX Pharma (SGXP) was the last double-digit gainer, continuing its ascent from the bottom a year ago after a clinical failure. The stock is flirting with its IPO price of 6. While the company appears fairly attractive based on Price/Sales, it is generating significant quarterly losses and appears to be in need of additional equity.

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Strong

cancer stocks july 16

Weak

cancer stocks july 16 2

The two screens below attempt to focus the investor on stocks that are working. The momentum list highlights stocks beating the market over the past month and quarter but eliminates those that have had extreme moves. The rebound list highlights stocks that are oversold but showing one-month relative strength without too much one-quarter relative weakness (if at all).

Showing Mo

Parameters: 4-week outpeformance (S&P 500) of 3% or more, 13-week outperformance of 10% or more and Price Momentum Index of <2.

cancer stocks july 16 3

(Note that several of these are in the process of being acquired)


Potential Rebounds

Parameters: 4-week outperformance of >5%, 13-week underperformance of <5% and Price Momentum Index of <0.

cancer stocks july 16 4

Disclosure: None, though I am seriously considering buying ACEL

Source: Cancer Stocks: Lagging Again