In keeping with the unofficial theme of the week - watching companies such as Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) and Amarin Corporation (AMRN) whose stock prices have provided ample trading opportunities over the last few months - let's take a look at Siga Technologies (SIGA).
This one just about has it all right now to keep the headlines moving, legal issues, political drama, a huge government contract award and a product that could be worth billions someday. Siga's ST-246 is potentially the only orally administered antiviral targeting orthopox viruses that works, and the company has already tagged the product with an orphan drug designation and "fast track" status.
What SIGA does not have right now, however, is price stability. Currently trading in the range of $2.70, this stock has traded as high as over fifteen dollars within the past year on the hype of the contract awarded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (BARDA) that about guaranteed the company millions upon millions of dollars, and has traded as low as under two dollars during the depths of last year's closing months when tax loss selling ruled the day.
Just since the new year started, SIGA has approached the four dollar mark as an initial payment from the BARDA renewed some investor confidence in the stock, but the move was short-lived and shares quickly receded back to below three bucks, even as some media outlets predicted a move higher to the four dollar levels.
All that details the solid trading opportunities that the short term investors have had to turn a quick buck. But what about the longs still holding strong? There's hope there, too.
Siga's ST-246 antiviral award to fill the nation's biodefense stockpiles as a precautionary measure against a potential bioterror attack could be worth more than the initial near half-billion dollars that has been advertised, and it's also possible that other nations may begin to join the party, especially if ST-246 is eventually granted a US FDA approval.
The product is already on the international radar, as Israel placed a "mock order" for a supply of ST-246 during a national drill a couple of years ago.
The most recent decline in share price materialized after an uneventful earnings release late Thursday, but investors shouldn't expect too much right now in terms of material news developments with the ongoing litigation. It's been speculated that the company will settle its legal affairs with rival PharmAthene (PIP), but we won't know the outcome of that situation until we know - which means a bit of sitting around and waiting, and possibly taking advantage of the trading swings that the speculation provides.
Reports from various media outlets in early 2012 predicted a four dollar short term share price for SIGA, but shares quicly receded to the current levels once those expectations did not pan out. Many still consider this company a solid long term bet on the basis of its developing technology and the large BARDA contract, which leads to the volatility created by the quick price moves.
Over the short term, SIGA has definitely proven to be a much better trader's play than a long term hold, but as events play out, both strategies could result with the Grey Goose flowing.
Last week was a volatile one for SIGA, and the coming weeks may prove no different. The longs may like the idea of loading up again in the mid-twos, and the traders could be gearing up for another quick swing. Still a story worth monitoring.
Disclosure: I am long SIGA.