Market Overview

Moves in Smaller Health Care Stocks (ANAC, HALO, PBYI, QCOR)

Some smaller health care companies saw unusual movement in their stocks on Friday.

And not just in Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANAC), Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO), Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI) and Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR), which are discussed below.

But also ACADIA Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACAD), which pulled back some after a 24 percent spike on Thursday, and Lpath (NASDAQ: LPTN), which climbed more than almost 11 percent on news that it was granted key patents on an anti-cancer drug.

Larger health care players Opko Health (NYSE: OPK), Pharmacyclics (NASDAQ: PCYC) and Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ: SGEN) also saw movement of more than three percent on Friday.

Anacor Pharmaceuticals

Shares of this biopharmaceutical company rose more than 25 percent the day after it announced positive results in a trial of a dermatitis treatment. The Palo Alto, California, company now sports a market capitalization near $216 million.

Anacor's earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast for this year is more than 12 percent, but the return on equity and the return on investment are in negative territory. The PEG ratio is greater than the industry average. And the short interest is less than two percent of the float.

All four of analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call who follow the stock recommend buying shares. The upside potential, based on the analysts' mean price target, is now more than 53 percent. That target would be a multiyear high.

Year to date, the share price is more than 17 higher, despite hitting a multiyear low in February. The stock has underperformed larger competitors Novartis (NYSE: NVS) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) over the past six months.

Halozyme Therapeutics

This San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company announced Friday that its immunodeficiency drug had received a positive opinion from a European panel. The share price jumped about 31 percent. Halozyme now has a market cap of about $775 million.

The EPS growth forecast for this year is about 40 percent, but the return on equity and the operating margin are both in the red. The short interest is more than six percent of the float.

Five of the eight analysts surveyed recommend buying shares. And the mean price target, or where analysts expect the share price to go, is now more than 15 percent higher than the current share price, though it is well less than the 52-week high.

Despite Friday's surge, the share price has not recovered from a pullback in late January following an analyst's downgrade. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), which is a partner in the aforementioned immunodeficiency drug.

Puma Biotechnology

Friday, this biopharmaceutical company that is focused on the treatment of cancer hit a post-IPO high and ended the day more than eight percent higher. Puma has been seen recently as a buyout candidate, and its market cap is now near $894 million.

The EPS growth forecast for this year is more than 29 percent, but the return on equity is in negative territory. The shares sold short represent less than two percent of the float.

Four of the six analysts polled rate the shares at Strong Buy, but the current share price has overrun the mean price target, meaning that analysts currently see no potential upside.

The share price is more than 64 percent higher year to date, and it is now up more than 115 percent in the past six months. The stock has outperformed the broader markets in that time.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals

Shares of this company, which makes drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, nephrotic syndrome and infantile spasms indications, declined about 7.5 percent Friday, falling below its 200-day moving average again. The $1.9 billion market cap company is headquartered in Anaheim, California.

Its long-term EPS growth forecast is about 28 percent, and the return on equity and the return on investment are both more than 103 percent. The dividend yield is about 3.1 percent. Note that the short interest is more than 45 percent of the float.

However, seven of the 10 analysts surveyed recommend buying shares. The mean price target indicates potential upside of more than 28 percent, but that still would be less than the 52-week high set last summer.

The share price is up more than 25 percent year to date, but still more than 15 percent lower than a year ago. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed Novartis and Sanofi.

Posted-In: ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Anacor Pharmaceuticals Baxter International halozyme therapeutics Lpath Novartis Opko Health pharmacyclics Puma Biotechnology Questcor Pharmaceuticals SanofiLong Ideas Short Ideas Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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