Why Dendreon Corporation Shares Spiked Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN  ) , a biopharmaceutical developer of immunotherapies focused on treating cancer, advanced as much as 16% after announcing its preliminary fourth-quarter revenue before the opening bell.

So what: According to Dendreon's press release, the company expects to report revenue of $74.8 million for the fourth-quarter, up 10.1% from the sequential third-quarter, but still down about 12% from the year-ago period. By comparison, Wall Street had only been expecting Dendreon to report $72.8 million in revenue in Q4. Dendreon notes that it added 31 new accounts in the fourth-quarter and that it had $199 million in cash on hand at year's end.

Now what: This is clearly a step in the right direction for Dendreon which needs to pick up the pace with regard to sales of its metastatic prostate cancer drug, Provenge. The recent approval of Provenge in Europe coupled with its second round of steep job and cost-cuts over the past year and change should help reduce its losses dramatically. However, investors would much rather see Dendreon's pipeline drive forward rather than the company simply shrinking its expenses until it's breakeven on a profitability basis. It remains a company most investors will want to watch from the sidelines in spite of today's optimistic news.

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