Why Heron Therapeutics Inc. Shares Tumbled

Heron prices a secondary offering before the opening bell and shareholders show their displeasure.

Jun 25, 2014 at 1:58PM

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 Heron Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HRTX), a specialty pharmaceutical company developing therapeutic candidates to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, dipped as much as 12% after pricing a secondary share offering before the opening bell.

So what: In what can only be described as a case of "Wham. Bam. Thank you, shareholder!" Heron announced its intention to sell an undisclosed number of shares after the closing bell last night. Then, just over 16 hours later, Heron announced that it was pricing 4.5 million shares for sale at $11.75 per share, an 8% discount to yesterday's closing price. The deal is expected to raise $60 million in gross proceeds for Heron, which it intends to use for general corporate purposes, as well as funding current and future clinical research.

Now what: This is certainly one of the quickest deal pricings I've ever witnessed, and the 8% discount points to the fact that not only did it catch investors off guard, but that demand for the shares wasn't expected to be robust. It's hard to get excited about Heron when its quarterly losses are often outpacing Wall Street's estimates and it has but one solitary compound in its entire pipeline, one which has been previously been turned away by the Food and Drug Administration. That implies a lot of risk inherent in Heron's stock and is more than enough for this investor to stick firmly to the sidelines.

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Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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