Checking In On 4 Outperforming Biotech Stocks

Among today's outperforming drugmakers are Trevena Inc (NASDAQ:TRVN), OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS), La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ:LJPC), and Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Though short sellers continue to pile on biotech stocks, the sector -- along with airlines -- has weathered today's storm fairly well. In fact, among the 30 sectors we track at Schaeffer's, the Market Vectors Biotech ETF (NYSEARCA:BBH) is the top performer, losing less than 1%. Here's a quick look at four drugmakers that have bucked the broad-market trend south this afternoon.

Trevena Inc (NASDAQ:TRVN) has soared nearly 8%, and has advanced 78% year-to-date, thanks to some recent trial-induced momentum. In fact, the stock yesterday hit an all-time high of $11.94, but was last seen at $10.65. The brokerage bunch certainly respects TRVN's technical tenacity -- as well as its potential to trek even higher. All six analysts covering the security have assigned it a "strong buy" rating.

OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS) is outperforming today -- up 3.5% at $17.16 -- but is a long-term laggard, shedding over 61% in 2015. Since late July, the shares have been ushered steadily lower by their 10-day moving average, and -- you guessed it -- short sellers have taken notice. A mind-bending 38.8% of OVAS' float is sold short, equal to 13.4 times its average daily trading levels.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ:LJPC) has more than tripled in value during the past 52 weeks, and it's more of the same today -- with the shares up 3.2% at $34.30. Last Monday, the stock reached a record high of $36.60, as well. That hasn't deterred short sellers from pouncing on the outperformer, as close to 21% of its float is sold short -- or nearly eight days' worth of pent-up buying demand, at LJPC's typical volumes. A capitulation among these bears could fuel the equity's fire.

Finally, Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) -- which has more than doubled year-over-year -- has added 1.7% to trade at $53.07. For the past couple weeks, the shares have hovered in the $50-$55 range, after flirting with $80 in early August. The brokerage crowd seems to be confident KITE can regain its longer-term upward trajectory, though, as 100% of analysts consider the stock a "strong buy."


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