ABBV, as I'm sure you know, has made a nice gain since 3/20 and SNY hasn't really suffered PFI and MRK have also been immune. So you'd have to say there's been little spillover from the IBB. It's the high multiple stocks which have been hurt. I know ARIA has strong prospects., and without looking, I'd guess it's pulled back. I don't expect the IBB to recover strongly until the Supreme Court rules - but I seem to be the only one worried about this. I assume that you have diversified your portfolio beyond the pharma sector. I have been overweight in it for a couple of years, but I don't think I'll get that concentrated in pharmas again soon.
I went into yesterday holding a long position, sold it, bought it lower, sold it, etc. Buying my last lot @ 100.50. When it couldn't bounce off that level, I sold out. If it had found support, I planned to double up.
Unquestionably the best defensive play in pharma to this point. From its high on 3/20, the IBB is down 8.2% as of today. GILD is up 2.2%. As for the other large biotechs: AMGN - 7%. CELG -14.7%. BIIB - 19.6%. REGN - 5%. VRTX - 8.6%. ICPY - 17.2%.
Among the larger stocks I hold (or held), only INCY has been relatively stable (down less than 1%). Most of the early stage biotechs have been clobbered, with the exception of HZNP (+24.7%) and DBVT (+5.2%). The first of these is an Irish company and the second a French company.
Being a contrarian by nature, I was inclined to go into earnings holding a modest long position and kept fishing for a bottom yesterday. In spite of the relatively low volume, I could see no sign of support until 100
( where I think GILD has shown a willingness to buy back shares in the past) and sat out earnings. I used today's rally to pare back my biotech positions, since I don't think the pullback is over. In fact, until the Supreme Court rules on the state exchanges for the Affordable Care Act in June, I think the entire healthcare sector will be under pressure. I plan to stay away from the big IBB stocks and very cautiously add to my depleted positions in the earlier stage companies.
Note that the IBB is already down 10% from its March 20 high. Perhaps a lot of this has to with the upcoming (June) Supreme Court decision on what I will call The Affordable Care Act, to avoid stirring up the political posters. I added some GILD this am @102, only to watch the shortsellers beat it back at precisely that point. Volume is still very weak. Not a lot of interest in this whole sector at the moment, it seems.
At times anything other than a "Going to the moon!" or "This POS going to 0!" seems to offend people. I don't know where this is going Friday. I sold a large position just ahead of q3 earnings, then reestablished a smaller one and sold it ahead of q4. At the moment, my position in GILD is about a dollar in the black, and so I'm not inclined to take risks. It seems that everything is being shorted into earnings. Incidentally, we should recall that last year, beginning on Feb 24, biotech went into a swoon that dropped everything, including GILD, which had dazzling prospects at the time. Over the period of a couple of months, the IBB dropped about 20%. Some think of biotech as a bubble, but I think that we're living in a golden age, when great discoveries are being made. But there are times to put your head down and duck. As I said earlier, I wouldn't be in a hurry to buy any more OTIC until you're closer to even. Good luck.
PS I think this applies to all biotech stocks right now: Until recently, the general sentiment was "I've got to own this stock right away ...before it gets bought out .. before they get an FDA approval ... before it goes up another ten points!" At the moment, there are a lot of stocks worth owning, but the general sentiment is that there's no rush - they can wait a while before owning them. So you have selling by the weak hands and no buying. This affects stocks like OTIC more than most. Patience.
I have great hopes for OTIC. I like remedies for basic universal recurring maladies, such as infant ear infections. The greatest collection of 20'th century French paintings in the US is The Barnes Collection (Where is he going with this?), which is now housed in a new wing of the Philadelphia Art Institute, I believe. I saw it about ten years ago when they put it on tour. It was at the Musee D'Orsay in Paris, and the French were lined up around the block to see Barnes' paintings which had never left Merion, Pennsylvania before. In the galleries, the museum paired their best Renoir, against one of Barnes' Renoirs, their best Rouault or Picasso alongside his, etc. Barnes' paintings were better. Now to the point:
Barnes' fortune - the basis of Barnes-Hind pharmaceuticals - was a simple improvement on the silver nitrate which was routinely administered to infants to ward off eye infections. He lifted the idea from a German chemist, called it "Argyrol" and became immensely wealthy. The OTIC compound promises to be the equivalent of Argyrol for infant ear infections. I would note that two of the major holders are Orbimed Advisors (along with Baker Brothers, the smartest biotech investors) and TPG Group (no slouches). While, along with many of the smaller biotechs, this has been going down, I don't see any alarming volume trends. I am keeping it; the recent clinical results looked very strong to me. If it recovers to the point where you're even, I'd buy more. Good luck.
It's basically trading in parallel with the IBB today on low volume; which, given the upcoming earnings release, is strange. At some point, it should break loose. Let's hope upwards.
Fortunately, I hedged my AAL position with a large position in ALL (American Loose Leaf Binder), which is taking off today.
I expected to sell some of my position into strength today, but since the stock did the opposite of what I expected, I reversed field. This is a very jumpy market, ready to sell on good news and eager to take profits. Nevertheless, I am now thinking about holding a partial position through earnings.
Yep, the train rolled back into the station and tickets aremmarked down 10%. I'm climbing aboard, but if it starts to slide backwards again, i'm hopping right off.
Getting "hit" is an understatement. At the close:
BIIB -3.10%. ICPT - 5.83%. VRTX - 3.99%. REGN - 1.38%. AMGN - 3.29%. CELG - 3.37%.
Some of the smaller "hot" biotechs did even worse: CLVS - 9.04%, JUNO - 10.24%. CLDX -15.85%. HZNP - 6.93%. etc.
Once again GILD (- .73%) behaves a lot more like JNJ (-.49%) than the other major IBB stocks. It looks like it will be positioned to sell the 110 calls later this week, which should take us up to 107 or so. I don't think this means anything in regard to the earnings, however, and I don't think we'll be immune from this wave of profit-taking.
Well, as I said, I hope they have nice furniture. Those Herman Miller Aeron chairs really hold their value.
I have a general rule: When you own a stock based on a particular premise (e.g Mydicar is effective.) and that premise is disproven, take your losses and move along. The only ones making additional money from here on out are the lawyers. The trouble is, there are no deep pockets to sue. Those two directors who each held stock worth 0ver $30 million not long ago now own stock worth about $5 million ... and they'll be needing a lot of that for legal bills.
I sold in the premarket, reasoning that the retail shorts would be more eager to cash in. I believe that the largest part of the short position is a hedged position of the longs, who have no particular urgency to cover.
I obviously put too much stock - just a little, actually - in the FDA Fast Track Breakthrough Therapy designation. From now on, I will take them less seriously.
I sold in the premarket, reasoning that the retail shorts would be eager to take their profits. I was surprised that I got about 3.56. They must have nice furniture.
I also trade within my IRA and, since you can sell without worrying about the tax consequences, find I often sell too soon. Conversely, in my taxable accounts, I often hold onto a winning position too long and harvest losses too quickly. Of course, the ultimate position is a winning one which will appreciate taxfree for years and that you hold until you croak. Actually, I usually find I do better in my wife's account, which I naturally pay less attention to. Sometimes we overthink things.