3 Stocks Stopping the Presses

You saw the headlines. You know your stock price made a big move. But what does that portend for your investment's future?

By pairing the latest news with the collective wisdom of our 170,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS investing community, we might be able to discover whether your stock's latest exploits are a short-term hiccup -- or the start of a much bigger trend.

The following stocks have all made big moves over the past five days:

Stock

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Change Past Week

Protalix BioTherapeutics (NYSE: PLX  )

**

(34.8%)

Samson Oil & Gas (NYSE: SSN  )

**

32.8%

Syntroleum (Nasdaq: SYNM  )

**

46%

Source: finviz.com, Motley Fool CAPS.

The CAPS community hasn't been too enthralled with these companies, assigning a meager two-star rating to each. When it comes to small biotechs like Protalix BioTherapeutics, it's easy to understand why, even if you don't agree yourself.

Protalix is trying to use a novel manufacturing process to more cheaply create a drug to treat Gaucher disease. By using plant cells to develop the therapy, and partnering with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) to market it, Protalix aims to leap ahead of Genzyme (Nasdaq: GENZ  ) , which produces the higher-cost Gaucher treatment Cerezyme.

But novel is as novel does, and the FDA is loath to endorse new approaches without assurances of those treatments' safety. Such was the case with Protalix's Uplyso, which has to submit new safety data on its crossover and long-term extension studies already under way. It seems that Protalix and Pfizer won't get approval until later this year, at the earliest. That's a major missed opportunity, and the real reason for Protalix's big drop in its stock price.

In addition to Genzyme, sanofi-aventis and Shire have competing therapies coming to market. The window of opportunity is fast closing on Protalix, at least where Gaucher's concerned. Yet as justaboutperfect hints, the biotech's unique manufacturing process could make it a valuable asset to someone down the road:

With this proprietary plant cell system, it will be able to provide more protein applications to other large companies for royalities. Some company will buy it out within the next five years.

Follow Protalix's progress by adding the biotech to your watchlist. Then head over to the Protalix BioTherapeutics CAPS page, and let us know whether this stock can grow like a weed in the future.

No haircut from Delilah
It's obviously a different story for Samson Oil & Gas, which has seen its stock go on a tear -- not just this past week, but so far in 2011 it is up 243%. The ball got rolling in January when a PR firm -- er, a research analyst company hired by Samson put out some positive press about its potential. While investors can normally take such "research" reports with a grain of salt, there's actually a foundation underneath Samson to warrant the attention.

It's called the Niobrara play, and it's the next big thing in onshore oil drilling. It's important enough that other big names in the industry, including Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) and Devon Energy, are setting up shop alongside Samson. (Devon's actually been in the region for a while.) EOG Resources has been also getting positive results lately from its Niobrara acreage.

Even with its low CAPS rating, 90% of those weighing in on the oil and gas play think it will outperform the broad indexes. mikarey noted in January that the region was recently upgraded by the government's own estimates:

SSN has an excellent acreage position in the Bakken oilfield. The estimated reserves in their acreage, plus their holdings in an adjacent oilfield have just been reestimated by the Government Minerals and Land Management Bureau. The new estimates are twice as large the recoverable reserve capacity previously believed.

You can follow along with Samson's growth trajectory by adding the stock to the Fool's free portfolio tracker.

Tastes like chicken
With oil prices soaring past $100 a barrel amid continuing unrest in the Middle East, synthetic fuel makers like Syntroleum are bound to get a big boost. Like solar and wind energy plays, alternative energy sources get more investor love and attention when spiraling energy costs threaten to wreak the greatest havoc on the economy. Syntroleum's partnership with Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN  ) to turn low-grade chicken fat into biodiesel once again makes more sense.

With the biodiesel maker's output now a cost-effective alternative, highly rated CAPS All-Star snafu03 says Syntroleum can be a force of its own:

This company owns half of a 75 million gallon per year synthetic fuels plant that just became operational. They've been quoted that the process is cost effective without subsidy, but are eligible for the biofuel production tax credit congress just extended. Not to mention the advantage of excalating diesel prices...

Let us know on the Syntroleum CAPS page whether the stock represents a finger-licking-good opportunity.

See you in the funny pages
Want the inside scoop the next time these companies make news? Add them to your watchlist.

Chesapeake Energy and Pfizer are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. The Fool owns shares of Devon Energy. Motley Fool Alpha owns shares of Chesapeake Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2011, at 2:11 PM, sami2002 wrote:

    From today low of 2.83 I would yesssssssssss it would definitely go up close to 4$..then settle there for few weeks.

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