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Pacific Biosciences—A Spec Stock Worth the Risk?

Friday, 24 Jun 2011 | 6:16 PM ET
Cramer Intrigued by Pacific Bio
Pacific Biosciences of California is the first company to successfully commercialize single-molecule sequencing technology, explains Mad Money host Jim Cramer.

In an ugly market, you need some speculative stocks to keep you interested, Cramer said Friday. The "Mad Money" host likes Pacific Biosciences of California in particular.

Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Pacific Bio is a $600 million company involved in the DNA sequencing market. It is a $1.2 billion business that's growing at a 20 to 25 percent compound annual growth rate through 2014, Cramer said.

DNA sequencing, by the way, is used to determine the make-up of DNA and specifically, the order of nucleotide bases in a DNA strand. Human DNA contains 3 billion of base pairs, 99.9 percent of which are identical among humans. The 0.1 percent is unique to each person and determines everything from one's hair color and height to medical conditions and so on. Researchers are interested in identifying and comparing genetic variations across peoples and populations so they can pinpoint how hereditary diseases work.

Pacific Bio was the first company to successfully commercialize single-molecule sequencing technology. Its technologies could also be used in other areas, like in the agriculture market to study genetically-modified seeds. Cramer thinks the company has a good story, but warns it's not profitable yet. While its technology is great, there's no telling whether a competitor will come in and introduce something better, he said. So this is a very speculative stock, but Cramer thinks it's worth betting on, as long as you can recognize the risk.

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