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Early Edge: Amarin Corporation and Oceaneering International

AMRN said the FDA accepted a new drug for review, while OII updated its financial guidance

by 11/25/2011 9:08:46 AM
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Checking out a few of today's hot stocks on the move, we've got signs of regulatory progress for Amarin Corporation's (AMRN) experimental triglyceride drug, as well as an updated financial forecast from Oceaneering International (OII).

Amarin

Amarin Corporation (AMRN - 6.67) announced this morning that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review an application for AMR101, the company's experimental triglyceride treatment. Chairman and CEO Joseph S. Zakrzewski described the news as "a significant achievement in the development of what we believe is a next generation Omega-3 based triglyceride lowering therapy." The FDA review is expected to be completed by July 26, 2012.

AMRN price chartSeparately, Amarin revealed that Dr. David Feigal has resigned from the company's board, due to "a crush of other commitments." In a statement, Lead Independent Director Dr. Lars Ekman thanked Feigal for his service on the board, including his review of the AMR101 application prior to submission to the FDA.

AMRN is up more than 6% ahead of the bell, but the stock is still poised to open below its 50-day moving average. This trendline has stifled all of AMRN's rally attempts since August, helping to usher the shares to a year-to-date deficit of 18.7%.

However, a burst of short-covering activity could help the stock extend its positive pre-market momentum. Following a 16.9% increase over the past month, short interest now accounts for a respectable 4.8% of AMRN's float, or nearly three times the equity's average daily trading volume.

Oceaneering International

After Wednesday's close, Oceaneering International (OII - 42.80) updated its full-year guidance for both 2011 and 2012, following Tuesday's news that the oil services issue will acquire AGR FO for roughly $240 million. For fiscal 2011, the firm expects to earn $2.11 to $2.15 per share, while fiscal 2012 earnings are projected to range between $2.45 and $2.65 per share. Analysts, on average, are looking for a full-year profit of $2.01 per share in 2011, and $2.50 per share in 2012.

OII is 0.7% higher in electronic trading, adding to its year-to-date advance of 16.3%. The stock is attempting to reclaim a foothold above its 20-day moving average, beneath which OII has now notched two consecutive daily closes.

Despite the equity's technical outperformance in 2011, options players remain overwhelmingly bearish toward OII. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 4.77, with puts outnumbering calls by a wide margin among options slated to expire within three months. This ratio ranks in the 100th annual percentile, revealing that short-term speculators are more bearishly aligned now than at any other time during the past year.

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