I agree the volume isn't outstanding, and unlikely you are looking at institutional investing since you're still below that $5 threshold usually prohibitive for funds to start sniffing around too much, but what you do have is an announcement that Dr. Cuillerot from Merk/Serono and BMY experience entering the fold. Any time a scientist with those kinds of credentials steps into the picture there is a validation of the science and the path of a fledgling biotech because as smart as we may be as investors, he knows the science and its potential from the inside. Commitment of time and treasure (experience/education etc) speaks volumes to the potential market and effectiveness of treatments being developed. IMHO
Sentiment: Strong Buy
First, it did get a bit lofty (why I sold most of my position) then It began trending down with some weaker than expected earnings. Actual revenue declined but the actual earnings went up. Then there has been the news about government controls on anti-bacterials in protein production and one of its swine anti-bacterial additives uses/safety was questioned by the FDA, so again down. It has been cleared and is still for sale and widely used. That all said, the use of antibacterials in for the health of animals will go on- perhaps to a lesser degree, but when a farmer has an infection in an animal in a herd, he still is likely to treat the whole herd to prevent spreading. As far as feed supplements, this is a big industry- probably here the biggest competitor may be ADM. But it is a fragmented industry with some things coming from chemical companies, some from pharmaceuticals, and others from non-public companies. All that into consideration I think PAHC is now undervalued and perhaps a target since it does have proprietary products that are widely used and distribution is expanding. Coverage on the company is pretty small and some firms have dropped their coverage again putting downward pressure on it. I continue to watch and hold it as it gets into the next earnings reports end of august. With a p/e hovering at 10 and P/S about 1 it seems pretty cheap and if they can turn the revenue positive I think you may see it move up closer to $30. Again, consolidation is also a consideration.
Von- Take a look at PAHC. It doesn't have the growth numbers as Heska, but hammered of late. I owned a bunch, had a good run up, sold some and still holding a bit as its moving up again. Consolidation enhances distribution and reduces costs while expanding market presence, and yes these do fly low.
I think there may be something here you are missing. Merck is enlarging its animal care division. It has made 2 significant acquisitions of late and both are easily within a price point that makes me curious as to the possible intent to acquire here, too. HSKA is almost debt free with great growth and products that enhance any animal health division of a larger company. Insider selling may be just some program trading or funds for whatever an insider requires and doesn't necessarily reflect potential appreciation or impending acquisition. I hate buying or speculating much on this likelihood, but it could be material to the stock price inching up as it has. Their recent purchase of Harrisvaccine and Vallee strengthens this division at Merck. ZTS - a competitor on many levels was a subsidiary of Pfizer, and is now a stand-alone company. Merck could be building to build or building to create a spin-off of its own. Regardless, it is a growing industry with fewer and fewer stand alone players through acquisition.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I've seen this languish happen before. Transport of molecules across barriers from skin to capillaries, into tumors, organs, etc. is important but the actual determination of best application can take time. Look at patch delivery of drugs. The technology was available long before companies adopted it and now its reaching an amazing level of use for everything from pain and hormone control, to side effects from chemo and even the chemo itself.
This is the kind of investment you do with funds you won't need for years in a position large enough to create a substantial change in wealth. Persistence and patience is on our side at this point with potentials in many markets and for big pharmaceutical companies to tap into with existing treatments. Mick's top 4 are important, and we should also remember partnerships are not necessarily exclusive. There could easily be more than one partner on a "delivery" system indicated for a range of treatments. The cool aspect of delivery systems is that once they are proven effective and safe and begin being used for one indication..say knee, what's stopping elbows, ankles, and even vital organs from becoming targets.
I think about now. The downside risk is maybe 10-20 cents and once it starts moving up, and if its a sharp move you may never see $3 or sub $3 again. Then close your eyes to it for a while. I wouldn't bet the farm or even just the back 40, but take a position large enough to make a dent.
tomorrow..you might see a small trading dip but if you wait too long you will inevitably miss out. I've held a long time, and as with other great results in biotech its better not to be a trader. If you do your homework and find the ones doing compelling research with big possible markets, at some point wither they fly or a big bird swoops in and treats them like snack food. Both benefit the patient.
With the Biotech index down so much over the past few months I think your seeing money coming into the funds holding biotech stocks and perhaps some of this volume has to do with some of these funds getting back in. Money into those funds means money they want to put to work- for the better. It may not just be specific news here (although I hope it is) just the consensus that mergers are afoot.