Why ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. Zoomed Today

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 biotechnology company ZIOPHARM Oncology (NASDAQ: ZIOP  ) popped about 10% today after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has rebounded solidly over the past several months on an improving outlook, and today's bottom line beat -- Q4 loss of just $0.09 per share versus Wall Street's view of a $0.15 loss -- only reinforces that positive momentum. Management also noted how its clinical oncology candidate Ad-RTS-IL-12 continues to demonstrate strong potential, giving analysts plenty of good vibes over its growth going forward.

Now what: Management said it also expects to file several investigational new drug applications for novel, multigenic gene therapies through 2015. "Working with our partner Intrexon Corporation, we made extensive progress in 2013 toward expanding, and demonstrating the transformative potential of, what is a game-changing technology platform," said CEO Jonathan Lewis, M.D., Ph.D. "This progress will continue in 2014, where we expect to achieve clinical milestones with lead candidate Ad-RTS-IL-12, continue to advance several, cutting edge new product candidates to the clinic, and potentially secure key partnerships." Given ZIOPHARM's very speculative nature and alarmingly high short ratio, however, average investors would probably do well to stay on the sidelines. 

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