Why BioDelivery Sciences, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, and Juniper Networks Are Today's 3 Best Stocks

For a second consecutive day the broad-based S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) was absolutely shellacked on rising concerns that growth in the U.S., as well as in China and other emerging markets, could slow down and stop this rally in its tracks.

Nearly all markets around the world took it on the chin as U.S. corporate earnings continue to demonstrate little top-line growth; the early portion of earnings season has delivered far more earnings outlook reductions than we're used to seeing. Coupled with the fact that China's economy is struggling to keep quarter-over-quarter growth moving in the right direction and you have all the more cause for fear to be injected into the markets.

Despite a lack of economic data today, the S&P again honed in on yesterday's weak Chinese manufacturing data and dropped by a whopping 38.17 points (-2.09%) to end the trading day at 1,790.29, its lowest close since Dec. 17.

In the face of this overwhelming negativity, small-cap biopharmaceutical company BioDelivery Sciences (NASDAQ: BDSI  ) led the charge higher with a gain of 50.6% after it and partner Endo Health Solutions (NASDAQ: ENDP  ) announced positive top-line results from a first phase 3 trial involving BEMA buprenorphine as a treatment for moderate-to-severe chronic pain. The results demonstrated that the drug met its primary end point, which was a mean change in the daily average pain numerical rating scale score from baseline. These results will trigger a $10 million milestone payment from Endo to BioDelivery, but there's still a lot of work to be done and data to comb over with another phase 3 trial ongoing.

Shares of volatile Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA  ) shot higher by 19.6% after The Mail newspaper in London reported that the biopharm could be an acquisition target by three separate pharmaceutical companies.The article cited Eli Lilly as the most likely bidder, asserting that Lilly would consider paying as much as $20 per share -- nearly three times yesterday's closing price -- to acquire Ariad. As I wrote earlier today, Eli Lilly desperately needs a spark in its pipeline, as patent expirations and late-stage failures mount. However, Ariad might not be the best choice despite its tax perks, given Iclusig's recently tarnished safety profile. To me, this has all the makings of a stock to pass on.

Finally, network infrastructure products provider Juniper Networks  (NYSE: JNPR  ) edged higher by 6.6% after reporting robust fourth-quarter results and following word that activist hedge fund Jana Partners had acquired a large stake in the company. For the quarter, Juniper reported a 7% increase in revenue to $1.27 billion; adjusted income rose to $0.43 per share, up from $0.28 in the year-ago period and $0.06 higher than Wall Street's consensus. Following its report, William Blair and Barclays boosted their ratings on Juniper to outperform and overweight, respectively. What's really stirring the pot, however, is Jana Partners' sizable stake in Juniper, with the activist hedge fund calling for steeper cost cuts from the infrastructure giant. Hedge funds have an uncanny way of unlocking shareholder value when they feel management isn't doing enough, so consider this a win-win on both accounts for Juniper's shareholders today.

This is the smartest path to prospering on big down days like the one we witnessed today!
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor's portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2808987, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/23/2014 3:08:21 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement