Life Science Stocks Follow NASDAQ Up: EXAS, MITI, REGN Soar
Large healthcare companies report over next two weeks
Stocks roared today on IBM earnings last night, debt ceiling negotiation progress with bipartisan Senators,and surge in housing starts. AAPL piled on after hours with a huge beat on sales and earnings and the stock was up 23 points after hours. The NASDAQ was up 2.22% and the S&P was up 1.63%. Mid Cap biopharma stocks caught up later in trading to end up about 1.9% with only a few losers in our Index. Diagnostics and tools stocks also moved up and with earnings season imminent for a lot of the smaller companies we will review in depth in the coming weeks. The Rayno Life Science Portfolio was up 1.66% with only one significant loser GenProbe (GPRO $62.41) down 2.47% on heavy volume of over 3M shares.GenProbe has been weak since topping in the eighties and a failed buy-out auction. Supergen (SUPG) also sold off 1.35%. Winners were the usual suspects(ALXN BIIB GILD etc) in the NASDAQ -100 up 2% or more. Big winners in the portfolio today are Exact Scientific (EXAS $8.61) up 5.64%, MicroMet (MITI $6.21) up 3.85% and Regeneron (REGN $59.16) up 6%.
Bristol Myers (BMY) ans Astra Zeneca took a setback today for their new diabetes drug as the FDA Advisory Committee voted 6 yes and no 9 for approval of Dapagliflozin an inhibitor of SGLT2. Diabetes and obesity remain the two toughest ares for drug development.
Adding to concerns about the general healthcare sector going forward, earnings reports from Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) and United Health(UNH $51.45) down 0.96% indicate some weakness for healthcare utilization due to a sluggish economy. JNJ ($66.72) reported after hours that profit dropped 20 % but beat lowered estimates and stock was flat after hours. Dan Leonard, analyst from Leerink Swann, also was a bit more cautious on diagnostic companies that might be affected by healthcare utilization such as ALR,GPRO,LIFE and QGEN.
The XLV $35.24 mirrored this weaker trend for healthcare up only 0.9% today underperforming other sectors.