Major Biotechs Have Short Sellers Looking Both Ways

The short interest data are out for October 15, the most recent settlement date. Generally speaking, companies within the biotech industry are considered a riskier group of stocks, with big potential upside and big potential downside.

As we have said before, FDA rulings can make or break the biotech stocks, and short sellers and mega-bulls often go to war against each other in these companies. After all, if a single failed clinical trial can mean disaster for a stock, then some short sellers can argue for a stock implosion down the road.

24/7 Wall St. has reviewed the top biotech companies, without focusing on speculative companies. The October 15 short interest data has been compared with the previous report, and short interest moves in these selected biotech stocks were mixed.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: ALXN) short interest decreased to 5.08 million shares from the previous 5.59 million. Shares recently traded at $120.76, in a 52-week range of $72.67 to $128.57.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) saw its short interest increase to 6.72 million shares from the previous level of 6.13 million. Shares were trading at $224.89, in a 52-week range of $177.05 to $264.97.

Short interest in Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) rose to 3.01 million shares from 2.83 million in the prior period. The stock traded at $256.76, within a 52-week range of $255.83 to $374.99.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its short interest rise to 20.50 million shares from 19.36 million in the previous period. Shares were trading at $59.96, in a 52-week range of $59.40 to $85.97.

The number of Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) shares short shrank from 30.25 million to 27.34 million in the period. The share price was $70.24 Tuesday morning and has ranged from $15.52 to $95.21 in the past year.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (NASDAQ: REGN) short interest increased slightly to 2.33 million from the previous 2.05 million. The stock traded at $585.74 a share, in a 52-week range of $303.22 to $664.64.

And the number of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) shares short decreased to 3.16 million. The previous reading was 3.39 million. The shares traded at $207.15 apiece, in a 52-week range of $192.32 to $306.08.

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