Stocks Shaking the Investment World

There are one-hit wonders, and then there are those stocks for which the initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we list a handful of stocks that, despite the incredible volatility in the market, made some of the biggest moves higher over the past month, which we'll pair with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community to gauge the sentiment toward their future. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.

Stock

1-Month % Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Horizon Pharma (Nasdaq: HZNP  )

59.7%

*

Brightpoint (Nasdaq: CELL  )

76.4%

****

Bon-Ton Stores (Nasdaq: BONT  )

49.6%

*

Orexigen (Nasdaq: OREX  )

91.7%

*

Pharmacyclics (Nasdaq: PCYC  )

31.5%

*

Source: FinViz.com.

A mighty temblor
It was a series of marketing agreements in the U.S. and Latin America that apparently got the stock of Horizon Pharma soaring through June. It signed on the Mallinckrodt division of Covidien to distribute its rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis treatment Duexis in the U.S. and inked a deal with Grunenthal to do the same in Latin America. Not only do the agreements give Horizon a chance to bring its therapy to a much larger patient population, but they should result in lower expenses for its in-house sales team, which had increased almost tenfold to $11.0 million in the first quarter, according to Zacks. That's a big run-up in a short amount of time for benefits that will only slowly accrue to the bottom line.

Deals got wireless logistics service provider Brightpoint moving higher, too, as it signed up FreedomPop, a provider of free wireless Internet services. Through a wholesale agreement with Clearwire, FreedomPop plans to offer 1 gigabyte of free wireless data connection to its customers. But things were looking up for Brightpoint before that deal, as it had signed on MetroPCS and re-signed Sprint. Shares of Brightpoint had tumbled from their lofty heights back in February after a disappointing earnings report, but recent gains erased most of that deficit.

It was a different kind of agreement that helped Bon-Ton Stores substantially increase its stock value: Alliance Data Systems agreed to buy its $475 million private-label credit card business. Previously Bon-Ton had said Alliance would simply manage the portfolio after its contract with HSBC expired last month, but Alliance announced it would buy the whole thing.

Fat-fighter Orexigen Therapeutics benefited from the halo effect surrounding the FDA's approval of Arena Pharmaceuticals' rival weight-loss drug Belviq, since investors figure it increases the chances its own drug Contrave will also win approval. But that outcome is still in the distant future, and it will lose some important time to its rival, but is also likely to fall behind VIVUS, which should hear back from the FDA later today regarding Qnexa. I agree with CAPS member jed71, who says the surge won't hold because it's not based on anything Orexigen has done: "Obesity drug still not approved yet. Run up based on expectations and approval received by a different company, Arena Pharma, for a similar obesity drug."

Running out the clock
The big news for Pharmacyclics was that rival Celgene pulled its application for review of multiple myeloma treatment Revlimid in Europe. The drug accounted for more than two-thirds of Celgene's first-quarter revenues, or $860 million out of the $1.3 billion in total, but by pulling the application, it prevents rivals from gaining access to trade secrets.

That was of little concern to Pharmacyclics, which is developing an alternative to Revlimid. Its stock started rising more than a month ago after it reported midstage clinical tests showed 100% of the patients receiving its drug ibrutinib responded positively to it. With results like that, Johnson & Johnson wants to start late-stage testing later this year on what is routinely being called a potential blockbuster drug now.

Highly rated CAPS All-Star and the Fool's biotech guru Brian Orelli (who goes by TMFBiologyFool on CAPS) doesn't dispute the possibilities of the cancer therapy, but he does worry about the risk-reward ratio being "too unfavorable after the run up."

He's apparently not alone, as the scales tip slightly against Pharmacyclics among members of the broader CAPS community, where 50.7% of those rating the drug developer see it underperforming the broad market indexes.

Let me know in the comments box below, or on the Pharmacyclics CAPS page, whether you think it will successfully overcome the doubts, then add it to the Fool's free portfolio tracker to see whether it overcomes the long odds of making it through late-stage trials and the FDA approval gauntlet.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson and Covidien. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2012, at 5:31 PM, BrownLarry wrote:

    Clinical trial results of PCYC's experimental drug ibrutinib (PCI-32765) sound interesting. But a recent article on a CLL patient advocacy website ( http://updates.clltopics.org/ ) has raised concerns about possible bleeding disorders if patients are on this drug for too long. It seems a few cases of bleeding in the brain have been noted. Drug may be contraindicated for people on blood thinners like heparin, coumadin etc.

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