At the conclusion of each week, VFC's Stock House examines the stocks and stories that made news through various sectors during previous trading week, but may also make headlines or influence trends during the upcoming week as well.
This week could be a good one, in just about all sectors, given the positive economic indicators released last week that had the markets hitting highs not seen in years. Although the big news that everyone is talking about is the Facebook IPO, there's going to be some other stocks and stories to watch once the hangovers wear off from the Super Bowl.
Here's just a few of those stories to watch...
GelTech Solutions (GLTC.OB): Shares of GelTech bursted through the dollar mark last week on huge volume - relative to the previous trading average - before closing Friday right at that milestone level. That left GLTC trading for more than thirty percent higher than where it opened last week and made it a clean double in just a few weeks time.
Some may have identified this stock as a potential hot mover when volume started picking up late last year on the heels of numerous positive developments regarding the GelTech's lead product, FireIce, which had been gaining recognition as a potential game-changer for the firefighting industry.
Previous comments from this company have indicated that distribution is expected to boom in 2012 after receiving some milestone qualifications from the US Forest Service and other nations from around the globe last year for FireIce that validate the product and its potential as a water-enhancer to extinguish fires faster and more effectively than anything else on the market right now - all while conserving monetary and natural resources, since the quicker suppression of fires creates a situation where firefighters can put a fire out while utilizing less water than what otherwise would be needed, according to tests and demonstrations.
GelTech also has other resource-conserving products that could be nearing mass commercialization, but the latest interest in the stock is a result of the growing awareness of FireIce's potential on the global market and the potential growth value presented by the current market cap.
A hot runner last week, GLTC will still be a story to watch this week.
Siga Technologies (SIGA): SIGA didn't disappoint on Friday and held to its recent pattern of boasting an end-of-week price spike. That action followed a full week that saw the stock break higher amid numerous Internet reports that a short squeeze could be in effect and a run to four is in the works.
SIGA was trading for under two dollars less than two months ago, making this one another stock that is pushing the scope as a short term double, so some profit taking should be expected - especially if a push to or above four does materialize.
Many believe that the worst is behind this company in relation to the PharmAthene (PIP) lawsuit, and some are also predicting a settlement that could sure things up in the eyes of investors who are looking to make accurate assessments of Siga's future viability. The only public comments from Siga in that regards relate to seeking another lawsuit look, so a settlement to close out this chapter might be nothing more than a pipe drea, but there's no doubt that the speculation surrounding this stock has led to the volatile price swings over the past couple of months.
As long as SIGA keeps moving as it has been, this'll be a perennial member of any speculative biotech watch list. Regardless of the negative press of 2011, BARDA did award the company a huge contract to fill the nation's biodefense stockpiles with the smallpox antiviral, ST-246.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX): Shares of Keryx have already touched highs over the past week that are a dollar more than where the stock opened the new year, marking this one as another hot runner that has the potential to rack up even more gains as the expected release of results for Phase III Perifisone trials draws closer.
The results are due out early this year and, if successful, could lead to significant gains in the KERX share price - as well as that of Aeterna Zentaris (AEZS), from whom Keryx licensed Perifisone.
While KERX already traded at over five bucks for a good time last year, some debated initiated by popular blogging and investing sites created a skittish sentiment that sent shares down to below the three dollar level, where they traded for months before the 2012 rebound.
The wires are full of positive opinion pieces on KERX as a solid pick to at least double over the short term, and if Perifisone results are positive, then that could be a no-brainer. With that said, the trend in the sector these days has speculative stocks such as this one spiking on positive Phase III news, only quickly to fall after the news has been digested and the swing, momentum and day traders all move on looking for the next hot mover (see BDSI, AVNR and AMRN as a couple of examples).
So it might be wise to be aware of that phenomena and keep an itchy trigger finger on the trading shares if the news does turn out positive. Also keep in mind the risk that the results might not turn out positive, so the more squeamish investor might start taking profits from the table long before the results are out.
Given this stock's hot move last week - and the weeks prior - it's one to keep on the watch list.
Immunocellular Therapeutics (IMUC.OB): Shares of Immunocellular have quickly rebounded after a financing deal that sent shares of the company down to the dollar mark earlier in the year, sparked by a couple of subsequent encouraging pipeline updates that drew in heavy volume and renewed investor interest.
Immunocellular's ICT-107 is gaining recognition for its potential to pick up where Dendreon (DNDN) left off with its Provenge technology and usher in the next generation of such treatments. Immunocellular boasts some manufacturing and logistical advantages with its technology that might certainly lead to more attractive pricing on the open market and combat the initial difficulties that Provenge endured in gaining sales traction early on in the commercial launch.
IMUC has stalled somewhat after quickly flying higher this month, but new institutional interest and positive developments from the pipeline still have this one as a potential mover, and a stock to watch.
Capstone Turbine (CPST): Capstone is set to report earnings this week, and investors will be keen on observing whether another step closer to profitability has been solidified, since that is the holy grail that has thus far eluded the company from real share price growth.
Capstone spent the better part of 2011 banking an increasing number of large orders, which added to an already growing backlog, and even warranted a mention by US President Barak Obama during a speech in Brazil for the 'green' technology offered by the company in the energy and industrial sectors, and the company added another large order to its books last week that investors took notice of.
A large oil & gas producer in the Eagle Ford shale play that already boasts a fleet of 71 Capstone C65 microturbines just ordered another 31, marking another significant re-order that is solidifying this company's presence in the 'clean energy' industry.
Capstone's collaboration with General Electric (GE) is also noteworthy, but it's the upcoming earnings announcement that makes this one a stock to watch this week.
Oncothyreon (ONTY): Growing volume, another push to eight bucks and looming Stimuvax results have Oncothyreon in the spotlight again. Shares flew to the ten dollar mark last year as investors took notice of this company's potential to repeat the Dendreon (DNDN) story of a few years ago with a potentially ground-breaking immunotherapeutic cancer treatment in Stimuvax, and after a late-2011 stall, shares are moving again.
The market is rebounding as a whole, and so is the cancer immunotherapy sector thanks to a rebound in Provenge sales, both factors that could benefit Oncothyreon is the week - and weeks - ahead.
Keep and eye on this one.
Titan Pharmaceuticals (TTNP.OB): Already a recognized hot runner this year thanks a to a high-volumed push towards $1.50 last week, Titan continues to act like that bipolar cougar in the bar that keeps giving you the eye but then gives you the finger when you come looking for a phone number once you take the bait.
The quick run was followed by a just-as-quick dive that again validated this stock's history as the quirky chicken that can't decide whether to lay an egg or crow like a rooster, but a fifteen percent spike on Friday had some investors taking another hopeful look after giving up on any more gains following the spike of earlier in the week.
Last week's volatile moves could attract some day trading interest, but it's any relevant news regarding Probuphine that will be the real mover for TTNP; and since the company has been relatively quiet of late, many are smelling a buyout.
Human Genome Sciences (HGSI): Again trading to the north side of ten bucks, HGSI is still one to watch. Benlysta sales have been on the upswing, as has the positive media reports, and a buyout by partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is still being talked about.
Bear in mind that HGSI has been a better short term trade than a long term hold over the past couple of years, so it might be worth flipping a few trading shares into any significant spike to actualize profits. Those that have already done that with the move towards ten have had a great chance to load up on the Grey Goose and Dom for the Super Bowl.
Mannkind Corporation (MNKD): Quickly falling to the two dollar level after the announcement of a financing deal, MNKD could very turn into another HGSI or SIGA story once the shorts are finished treating the stock like Rocky Balboa's jock strap.
Another look by the FDA for the company's inhaled insulin product candidate, Afrezza, is still a ways away as another round of trials is completed, so investors are taking their time in playing this one again.
Once the short do start covering, however, it could lead to an intriguing rise, given the huge short interest.
Implant Sciences (IMSC.PK): The most recent orders for this company's Quantum Sniffer, a ground-breaking portable explosives detector, have come from an oil company working in Africa and a bank in the Middle East, confirming the growing interest in this company's product technology that takes advantage of the increase in security at key infrastructure points worldwide.
Implant is primed to take advantage of the ever-shifting global security posture, but it might take an influx of orders from US companies for investors on the American continent to take notice.
Disclosure: Long GLTC, SIGA, CPST, TTNP, IMSC, MNKD.