What: Shareholders of MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ:MNKD) are finally having a good day as the stock moved 13% higher as of 11:45 a.m. ET. Investors are likely bidding up its shares in anticipation of receiving good news during its scheduled presentation later today at the ongoing JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.
So what: MannKind's stock has been bloodied over the past year as the company has struggled with the launch of its inhaled insulin Afrezza. The wheels fell off the wagon a few days ago when commercial partner Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) exercised its option to opt out of its contract, which raised huge questions about the company's future and sent shares in a tailspin. MannKind held a special conference call to ease investors' fears and promised to share more details about its commercial plans during its presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, which is taking place later today.
With the potential for good news only a few hours away, it's possible that short-sellers are scrambling to cover their positions. The number of MannKind shares sold short spiked toward the end of December in anticipation of Sanofi pulling the plug on its partnership. With that event now in the history books, the shorts are likely in profit-taking mode.
Now what: While it's nice to finally see MannKind's bulls have a good day, there are still plenty of questions in the air that need answering. It's still unknown whether MannKind will look for another partner to help it commercialize Afrezza, and even if it finds one, it's unlikely to be willing to give as good of a deal as Sanofi originally did. If nobody is willing to step up to the plate, then MannKind could be forced to go it alone, which is an expensive and time-consuming proposition.
The company does have a little bit of time to sign up a new partner for Afrezza or announce another potential application for its Technosphere technology, but the clock is ticking. Hopefully, new CEO Matthew Pfeffer will be able to provide shareholders with a clear path forward during its presentation today.