MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD), a small-cap biotech company, saw its shares rise by an astounding 51.6% last month, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The biotech's shares took flight in October for three obvious reasons:
- In early October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a favorable label change for MannKind's inhaled insulin product, Afrezza, which may result in better sales moving forward.
- MannKind also successfully executed a much-needed common stock for warrant swap that improved the company's capital structure.
- Because of these aforementioned material events, H.C. Wainwright raised its 12-month price target for the stock by a healthy 310% to $12 a share on Oct. 10.
MannKind seemed to be headed directly for bankruptcy court prior to these events because of Afrezza's weak sales, and the company's enormous debt load. While these positive developments may ultimately not be enough to change this bleak picture, some investors, at least, appear to think that MannKind is now headed in the right direction.
Most Wall Street analysts, on the other hand, simply don't share the retail crowd's rather optimistic outlook. The fundamental issue is that MannKind's lacks the financial resources to properly support Afrezza's commercial launch. Moreover, there doesn't appear to be much interest from a deep-pocketed partner in terms of another licensing deal to alleviate these financial pressures. As such, MannKind is still facing the very real prospect of bankruptcy -- even though it may take longer than originally expected.
Bottom line: There's little reason to think a sustainable turnaround is actually in the cards at this point. And that's why this speculative biotech stock is probably best avoided by growth and value investors alike.