All of a sudden yesterday and today shares of Dendreon —my favorite biotech story—shot up on heavy volume. By the way, please don't misinterpret that to mean it's my favorite biotech because as I've blogged many-a-time, I am a reporter and not a stock analyst. I don't pick stocks I like or don't like.
I mean, here's just a small sample of the emails that have come into "Pharma's Market" this week:
Anonymous wrote, "What's going on with Dendreon and their Provenge for prostate cancer? Know anything?"
And Bill Leder asked, "What is your outlook on Dendreon going forward?"
No, I don't know anything about "what's going on." And I would never give my "outlook" for Dendreon or any company I cover. That's the analysts' job.
In its "earnings" press releaseyesterday Dendreon reaffirmed that it expects to have the results next month of the key study of Provenge, its unique, controversial experimental treatment for prostate cancer.
On the heels of the company's report and conference call Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Joe Pantginis titled a research note to clients, "Biotechs are Risky but Dendreon May be Russian Roulette; Reiterate Sell." MCF makes a market in DNDN.
Joel Sendek at Lazard Capital Markets has a "Hold" rating on the stock saying, "We retain a healthy skepticism on the final outcome of the trial...." LCM also makes a market in DNDN and Lazard Freres & Co. has banked the baby biotech.
The short position—investors betting the stock will go down—has diminished in recent months. Are those shorts who are left getting squeezed this week? Or is this just people buying a relatively cheap stock (it had been under three bucks) gambling that if the study doesn't work that they won't lose all that much money and if it does work that the upside could be significant?
All I know is that as I write this the beaten down stock is up nearly 50 percent this week.
Hear Me Tweet
Since I know this post is probably going to get a lot more eyeballs than normal, I'm going to use this platform to announce that I have officially caved. I am now a "Twitterer," or is it "Tweeter"? The "Fast Money" crew convinced me yesterday to give it a shot. I'm a total technophobe and pretty much a dolt when it comes to electronic and computer gadgets, but it seems intuitive and so, I think I can handle it. We'll see. I promise not to send stupid, mundane stuff that I think followers couldn't care less about. And please feel free to check me if you think I've gone off the deep end. I still won't Facebook, despite immense--sometimes daily--peer pressure to go there. I am on "Linked In" and now "Twitter," but that's where I'm drawing the line...he said.
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