Last week, the Fed rose the interest rate by 25 basis points, oil lost further ground, the US dollar was strong, there was a drop in precious metals, and commodities weakened. It was quite an eventful week for the markets. Biotechnology stocks and ETFs were doing much better in the week ended December 18, 2015, compared to the previous week ended December 11, 2015.
The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI) and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) were the top biotechnology ETFs, giving returns of 5.3%, and 3.7%, respectively. On the other hand, the iShares US Medical Devices ETF (IHI) was the worst-performing biotechnology ETF, at 0.05% for the week ended December 18, 2015.
The above graph reflects the performances of the biotechnology ETFs on a week-over-week basis.
Leaders and laggards
Pacific Biosciences (PACB) was the top performer for the week ended December 18, 2015, with a return of 26%. The stock rose on a press release from PACB announcing that “the company has received ISO 13485 and ISO 9001 certifications for the design, development, manufacture, distribution, installation, and servicing of its nucleic acid sequencing platforms.”
PACB closed at $12.2 and was trading above its 20-, 50-, and 100-day moving averages. The RSI (relative strength index) of the stock is 81, indicating that it has moved temporarily into the overbought situation. The stock witnessed approximately 2 million shares being traded every day during the week.
PACB has a book value of $0.55 per share. With its current price, the stock is trading at a price-to-book value (or PBV) of 22.33x. PACB has a weight of ~0.12% in IBB’s portfolio.
Other stocks that performed well were Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (KERX) and Advaxis (ADXS). KERX and ADXS gave returns of 25.1% and 24.4%, respectively. Ataria Biotherapeutics (ATRA) was the worst performer, with a return of -27.5% for the week ended December 18, 2015.