The markets moved higher yesterday, as traders apparently think China can endlessly stimulate its economy without repercussion, but the government's own news outlet, Xinhua News Agency, says there aren't any plans for another massive stimulus in the works. That ought to make the traders gloomy again.
Yet some stocks were going even higher yesterday, strapping on rocket packs and turning in double-digit percent increases. Resist the urge to high-five everyone in the cubicles next to you, though. Smart investors won't celebrate until they know why their stock surged, because without a fundamental basis for the bounce, these stocks can quickly make the return trip down.
Getting left back
Apparently the failure by MAP Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MAPP ) to gain FDA approval earlier this year for a migraine therapy is paying off for Zogenix (Nasdaq: ZGNX ) , which saw prescriptions for its own Sumavel DosePro therapy jump 50% in the first quarter. It had been marketing the drug with Japanese pharmaceutical Astellas, but it took over full commercialization responsibilities and prescriptions and prescriptions grew to about 22,000. It's still reporting losses, but they're much narrower than they were a year ago.
However, what got Zogenix's stock moving yesterday was its filing an IND application with the FDA to combine its DosePro delivery technology with the antipsychotic drug risperidone, which is used to treat schizophrenia. Zogenix licenses the combination called Relday from Durect, and it expects clinical trials to begin later this year.
According to the biotech, risperidone is one of the most widely prescribed schizophrenia medications, and Relday would be the first needle-free antipsychotic product that allows for once-monthly dosing. But we're a long way off from getting approval, and as MAP saw, even migraine formulations are not so simple.
More promising is its extended-release hydrocodone formulation Zohydro. It offers the benefit of less frequent dosing while also having lower risk of liver damage since it contains no acetaminophen. It's on track to gain FDA approval early next year.
CAPS member Lennyg02 thinks Zohydro will give Zogenix's stock a lift, though he finds the addictive nature of the drug concerning. There's also the matter of competition, as the biotech says there are at least 15 other development by pharmaceuticals much larger than itself, including Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA ) .
You can add the biotech to your Watchlist as well as tell me in the comments section below or on the Zogenix CAPS page whether you think it's bringing together a potent portfolio of drugs that it can successfully market.
Nerves of steel
Part of the growth thesis supporting alternative-energy specialist FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL ) has been that South Korean steelmaker POSCO (NYSE: PKX ) is funneling orders to it because it needs to provide cost-efficient means of fueling its expansion. Last year it placed a 70 megawatt order and followed that up with a 120 MW order. POSCO is preparing for an expansion in Asian steel demand, particularly in Vietnam, where the company is building capacity, but yesterday's jump was due in part to the steelmaker's plan to build a 60 MW fuel cell park in South Korea that will be the largest fuel cell installation in the world.
Separately, South Korea will also be constructing stationary fuel cell power plants, including plans by Seoul, the country's capital, to install 230 MW of fuel cells.
I've been fairly critical of alt-energy players and have rated on CAPS numerous players in the solar and wind sectors to underperform the market. However, earlier this year I rated FuelCell to beat the Street because of its alliance with POSCO, which I think might end up buying the company outright at some point. The steelmaker is anticipating a huge surge in stainless steel demand, and it's looking to FuelCell to help it meet its needs.
Add your opinion to the FuelCell Energy CAPS page if you think the ever-expanding list of Asian fuel-cell projects will power the alt-energy player higher, and then add it to the Fool's free stock-tracking service to see whether my takeover scenario pans out.