For a few years now Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.OB) has been one of those companies whose share price has continuously provided many opportune times to play a quick trade, after having traded for just a couple of pennies back in 2009 before riding high to two dollars at some points, and then slipping back to a buck at others.
Decent gains could be had by all who were willing to buy the dips and sell the spikes, but throughout all the excitement and volatility, there's a story behind the stock, and many are still waiting for that story to play out.
The main actors behind the ongoing storyline are Probuphine, Titan's treatment for opioid addiction that utilizes the company's proprietary ProNeura subcutaneous drug delivery technology, and the FDA - with whom Titan has had recent, positive meetings to discuss the approval path for Probuphine. Speculation behind Probuphine's chances for approval and the potential timeline to do so has fueled numerous share price runs over the past year, but none have been supported enough by solid news to maintain the achieved highs.
Beyond the Probuphine approval chances, however, another factor is playing behind the scenes and contributing to the volatile share price. Speculation about a potential partnership or buyout continues to simmer, and a Bloomberg report last year that discussed the issue drew in new investor interest, but resulted in only a temporary price boost as no deal panned out over the short term.
Whether geared towards the pipeline or buyout talk, the speculation has been renewed this week.
Trading volume for TTNP has increased over the past week, and on Tuesday the share price followed. A close with a near-twenty percent price gain puts Titan right back on the speculative radar, but although another push towards two might be in the works, history shows that you can't count on anything from this stock - except for volatility.
There are no indications of whether this run is going to be the real deal or just another opportunity to flip a few trading shares, as no news has been announced to support the run - at least not yet. Additionally, although the volume increase has been solid, it hasn't been overwhelming enough to indicate a large influx of new investors.
Some might believe that there is more to this run than some traders flipping a few shares, though. The company has been relatively silent of late, and a string of recent filings has some predicting that a buyout or partnership is imminent. With the path for Probuphine approval a lot clearer now after the most recent FDA meeting, potential partners may feel more comfortable jumping on board at this point, so there could be some merit behind that theory, but as we know with Titan, there's little guarantee that any price boost is going to last, so itchy trigger fingers may be had by all.
Watch this one as a result of this week's trading; it's still just about a consensus opinion among many investors that this company will eventually be purchased, but as always, it's probably best to temper short term expectations while maintaining a keen eye for the long term potential.
One of these days, though, the long term potential may turn into a nice short term price spike - but will TTNP be able to hold it?
Disclosure: Long TTNP.