At the end of the last reporting period, 8/15, the short position in EXEL was at the highest level it has seen since last December. During the period EXEL PPS went from $5.06 (7/31) down to $4.81 (8/15) on relatively light volume. Despite this increase in short interest, at 22% it is still far below MNKD at 31%.
Settlement Date_____Short Interest_____Avg Daily Share Volume_____Days To Cover
The dynamic appears to me to be significantly different now vs December, the last time EXEL had this much short interest. In December, top line data for the Comet trials was well over a year away, GDC 0973 had only just begun recruiting for it's Phase 3, there was zero OS data for Cabo, and EXEL's PPS had been shorted down to the low 4's.
Today, IMO, the increase in short interest is much more of a defensive play. We are getting closer to top line Comet data every day. Cabo has shown positive CRPC OS data from the Phase 2 NRE of 10.8 months, and the data has suggested a direct connection with pain palliation/ CTC reductions/bone scan response and OS. In addition, we could get more OS data for MTC anyday now. Meanwhile biotechs are getting gobbled up for billions, the economic outlook is more stable, 2 more Phase 3 trials are in the works, and GDC 0973 is still not factored into the EXEL valuation.
The convertible arbitrage play has been rinse repeat for a year and was a huge overhang on the PPS. Perhaps now, with all the above in play, the short interest will actually benefit the PPS. Time will tell.