Why Celgene Corporation, Gilead Sciences, and Priceline.com Are Today’s 3 Worst Stocks

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to escalate, and Wall Street continues to hate it. Investors chose to reduce their exposure to stocks today, given the risk that the situation gets dramatically worse during the weekend. Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG  ) , Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD  ) , and Priceline.com (NASDAQ: PCLN  ) ended as the three worst stocks in the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) Friday; the S&P lost five points, or 0.3%, to end at 1,841.

Two of the three most miserable performers today were biotech players. Celgene Corporation finished as the largest retreater in the 500-stock index, losing 4.2% in trading today. A pesky protection of intellectual property, the "patent," is to blame for Celgene's loss today, as a U.S. judge scheduled an earier-than-expected hearing on Revlimid, a blood disease treatment. While investors generally don't expect the patent challenge to cause problems, the fact that a small risk exists, and is now closer on the time horizon, worried investors.

Unlike Celgene, Gilead Sciences' patent woes aren't due to an earlier resolution in the courts, but a brand-new problem that just popped up. Idenix Pharmaceuticals initiated a patent infringement lawsuit against Gilead today, causing the stock to shed 3.8% in trading. Gilead's hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir is the subject of contention; Idenix claims it was first to patent the treatment in Europe. These two companies clearly aren't fond of each other, with Idenix filing two suits against Gilead in December. Investors should resist the temptation to equate lawsuits with valid plaints, since frivolous cases come through the courts all the time in the health-care industry.

Finally, shares of Priceline.com Incorporated stumbled 2.5% today, though there were no emerging patent fiascos for shareholders to worry about. Priceline.com shareholders haven't had much to worry about for years, actually, as the online travel booking industry has gone absolutely bonkers. Not only is Internet access on an irreversible trek toward ubiquity, but with the economic recovery and William Shatner as your pitchman, it's no wonder shares are up more than 1,500% in the last five years. On top of that, as my colleague Daniel James argues, impressive fourth-quarter performance from Priceline and its competitors show the industry is still flying high.

Two game-changing biotechs revolutionizing the way we treat cancer
The best way to play the biotech space is to find companies that shun the status quo and, instead, discover revolutionary, groundbreaking technologies. In the Motley Fool's brand-new FREE report, "2 Game-Changing Biotechs Revolutionizing the Way We Treat Cancer," find out about a new technology that big pharma is endorsing through partnerships, and the two companies that are set to profit from this emerging drug class. Click here to get your copy today.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (3)

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.

  • Report this Comment On March 15, 2014, at 6:04 AM, TheCraigster wrote:

    John,

    The headline says "Why..." but your paragraph on Priceline doesn't explain or even mention why Priceline is one of S&P's 3 worst stocks. It just says it dropped and then goes on to say how its been going up for a long time. I guess I expected a little more depth to the article.

    Craig

Add your comment.

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: 2876949, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/24/2014 6:03:49 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...


Advertisement