Cellectis SA (CLLS) Defies Sector Headwinds on Cancer Breakthrough

Cellectis SA (ADR) (CLLS) is flying high on an encouraging report on its leukemia treatment

by Alex Eppstein

Published on May 6, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Cellectis SA (ADR) (NASDAQ:CLLS) is defying healthcare-sector headwinds, after the biotech's "designer immune cells" have potentially cured a second baby of leukemia. At last check, the stock was up 14.7% at $30.91, and earlier hit a 2016 high of $31.17. While some on Wall Street were expecting big gains from CLLS, one group of bearish traders may be in trouble.

On the bullish side are analysts. All six of the brokerages covering CLLS have handed out a "strong buy" recommendation. Plus, the stock's average 12-month price target of $49.67 sits in territory not charted for nearly a year -- and at a lofty 61% premium to current trading levels.

By contrast, short sellers haven't been shy toward CLLS. While short interest dropped 23% during the last two reporting periods, a healthy 5% of the stock's float remains sold short. At the equity's typical trading levels, it would take more than eight sessions to buy back these shorted shares, indicating there's plenty of pent-up buying power that could help extend today's rally.

As alluded to previously, Cellectis SA (ADR) (NASDAQ:CLLS) is flirting with levels not seen since late 2015. However, the stock is currently just below its year-to-date breakeven mark of $31.03, which could act as resistance. As a matter of fact, this area repelled the shares in both March and April, when they topped out at $30.37 and $30.99, respectively.

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