By Bert Wilkison
Below is a list of five stocks under $12 that have created new 52-week highs last Friday on much heavier than normal volume. All of the stocks are well worth watching next week, as they may continue to etch out new highs in the upcoming days or potentially find themselves in the cross-hairs of short sellers that haven't been able to catch much of a break recently.
1. Dynavax Technologies Corp (NASDAQ:DVAX)
From the company:
Dynavax Technologies Corporation is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops novel products to prevent and treat infectious and inflammatory diseases. Our clinical-stage product candidates include:
- Phase 3 HEPLISAV ™ Hepatitis B Vaccine
- Phase 1 Universal Flu Vaccine
- Phase 1 TLR Inhibitor for Lupus
- Phase 1 Hepatitis B Therapy
We have programs partnered with pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. Our European subsidiary Rhein Biotech manufactures hepatitis B surface antigen for HEPLISAV. With 20 years in business, Rhein Biotech also provides integrated product development services to enable its partners to bring products to market.
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Shares of DVAX closed the week out at $4.49, which happened to be a new 52-week high, on 3.28 times its rolling average volume. The company has 155.82M shares out, giving it a market cap of $699.61M. Institutional ownership stands around 85% with the short interest, as of 02/29/12, being 17.04M shares. The average analyst price target is $6.00.
Last Tuesday, the company released the results of an early Phase 3 trial of its HEPLISAV product candidate, which is an investigational hepatitis B vaccine, and they were published in and online medical journal. The results of the trial seem to indicate that HEPLISA V demonstrated a superior safety and efficacy profile over that of the comparator hepatitis B vaccine that has been on the market for some time.
2. Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ:CERS)
From the company:
We are developing and commercializing novel, proprietary products and technologies that are intended to make the blood supply safer. We are commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and selected countries in other regions around the world. The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma is not yet approved for sale in the United States. In 2008, we initiated a Phase I clinical trial for our INTERCEPT Blood System for red blood cells in the United States. The INTERCEPT Blood System, which is based on our proprietary Helinx technology for controlling biological replication, is designed to enhance the safety of donated blood components by inactivating viruses, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens, as well as potentially harmful white blood cells.
Shares of CERS closed the week out with heavy volume at $4.12, just five cents below the new 52-week high it set just before Friday's close. The company has 48.10M shares out, giving it a market cap of $198.17M. Institutional ownership stands at about 45% with the short interest, as of 02/29/12, being 8.28M shares. The average analyst price target is $6.00.
The company recently knocked it out of the park with its Q4 2011 earnings release. It missed analysts' expectations on EPS, but the 61% quarterly YOY increase in GAAP reported sales more than made up for that. The stock jumped more than 10% on the day the news was released and has been steadily climbing since. The company's CEO believes they are just a couple of big customers away from being able to post its first-ever profitable quarter.
3. Builders FirstSource, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLDR)
From the company:
Builders FirstSource manufactures professional quality building components for today's fast-paced construction process. Homebuilders are working to shorten construction cycle times and improve the quality of their product. Building components fabricated in a controlled manufacturing environment are quicker and easier to install and provide superior quality compared to traditional jobsite fabrication.
Builders FirstSource manufactures prefabricated structural components - roof trusses, floor trusses, stairways and wall panels - as well as interior and exterior doors and windows. These capabilities allow us to tailor our manufactured products offering to the needs of homebuilders in specific markets.
Shares of BLDR closed the week out at $4.00, creating a new 52-week high of $4.12 early in Friday's regular trading session on 2.11 times its average daily trading volume. The company has 96.61M shares out, giving it a market cap of $386.45M. Institutional ownership stands at roughly 95% with the short interest, as of 02/29/12, being 2.53M shares. The average analyst price target is $4.00.
On March 8th, it was reported that a couple of directors and Warburg Pincus shelled out about $1M to purchase about 375k shares of BLDR on the open market. Last Thursday, analysts at BB&T upgraded Builders First for hold to buy. It is very possible that the company's shares will continue to rise as the US economy slowly improves.
4. Town Sports International Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLUB)
From the company:
Town Sports International [TSI] health club company is the largest in the Northeastern United States. TSI owns and operates the Sports Clubs Network of clubs, which includes New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs,Washington Sports Clubs and Philadelphia Sports Clubs. Since 1974, the Sports Clubs Network has since grown to include over 150 health and fitness facilities in four major metropolitan areas-New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia-with nearly a half million members. There are also three locations in Switzerland: the Forum and the Joggeli Fitness Clubs in Basel and the Luxor Club in Zurich.
Shares of CLUB closed the week out at $11.50, forging a new 52-week high of $11.70, with more than 2.52 times its normal trading volume on Friday. The company has 22.85M shares out, giving it a market cap of $262.76. Institutional ownership stands at about 61% with the short interest, as of 02/29/12, being 603k shares. The average analyst price target is $12.
On 02/15/12, the company issued Q1 2012 guidance slightly above analysts' estimates on revenue, net income, EPS and EBIDTA. Last Monday the company announced that its new COO would be Terry G. Kew. CEO Bob Giardina's generic comment on Kew's appointment:
We're very excited to have Terry join our team as COO…I've known him for over ten years and few people in the industry have his expertise and outstanding record of success. His skills coincide perfectly with what's truly at the core of our business - our employees and our members. We look forward to his experience and passion to help further the expansion of TSI.
5. The Spectranetics Corp. (SPNC)
From the company:
Spectranetics develops, manufactures, markets and distributes single-use medical devices used in minimally invasive procedures within the cardiovascular system. The Company's products are sold in over 40 countries and are used to treat arterial blockages in the heart and legs as well as the removal of pacemaker and defibrillator leads.
Shares of SPNC closed the week out at $9.61, hitting a new 52-week high of $9.62 on about 2.5 times its normal volume on Friday. The company has 33.68M shares out, giving it a market cap of $323.64M. Institutional ownership stands at 68% with the short interest, as of 02/29/12, being a little more than 749k shares. The average analyst price target is $11.50.
On 02/16/12, the company issued FY 2012 guidance that was in line with analysts' estimates. On Thursday, Piper Jaffray initiated coverage on the Spectranetics with an "overweight" rating, causing the stock to rise about 7.5%. There was some decent follow-through action on Friday to support the previous day's move.
*From the above tables:
6 EBITDA is calculated by Capital IQ using methodology that may differ from that used by a company in its reporting.