Why Oncothyreon, Inc. Shares Sank

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Mar 14, 2014 at 12:42PM

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 clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Oncothyreon, Inc. (NASDAQ:ONTY) plunged 10% today after its quarterly results disappointed Wall Street.

So what: The stock has soared in recent months on improving fundamentals, but today's Q4 results -- net loss of $6.4 million versus a profit of $4.3 million in the year-ago period -- are forcing analysts to lower their expectations a bit. Cantor Fitzgerald even downgraded the stock this morning from buy to hold, suggesting growing sentiment on Wall Street that Oncothyreon's valuation is a bit stretched at this point.

Now what: According to Cantor, the stock's upside is likely to be limited over the next few months. "Our view on the shares has been driven by our belief that the company's early to mid-stage pipeline plus cash could drive the shares to $4," said Cantor analyst Mara Goldstein. "While the data readout for the ONT-380 breast cancer studies could be an inflection point for the shares, the timing is likely late 2014, suggesting to us that without nearer-term catalysts, greater valuation expansion is not likely to occur." Of course, with the stock now off about 20% from its 52-week highs, that short-term uncertainty might be providing patient biotech-savvy Fools with a juicy entry point.

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Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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