People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

The most-watched biotech stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on biotech stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. And for good reason. As CAPS player CarolinaMatt wrote in January:

Yes I get it. This company is no longer the high-flying early stage pharma star with a everything under patent and profits growing as fast as it can ramp distribution.

But this is no old super-slow moving huge pharma company (i.e. Pfizer) either. Pricing is at a 2011 P/E of about 9X which suggests maturity and minimal EPS growth. But this company is still projected to grow EPS at 15ish% over the next 3-5 years. Even if they fall short and come in at more like 10-11% EPS gains it is a bargain in the drug space.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (in millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

Gilead Sciences

$33,403

****

6.3%

2

Dendreon (Nasdaq: DNDN)

$5,931

**

6.2%

3

PDL BioPharma

$803

****

5.6%

4

Cell Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTIC)

$259

**

5.1%

5

Amgen

$53,590

****

4.7%

6

Aeterna Zentaris (Nasdaq: AEZS)

$220

****

3.8%

7

XOMA

$70

**

3.3%

8

Geron (Nasdaq: GERN)

$566

***

3.1%

9

Orexigen Therapeutics

$80

**

2.9%

10

Zalicus (Nasdaq: ZLCS)

$273

***

2.6%

11

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals

$530

****

2.5%

12

Ariad Pharmaceuticals

$1,605

**

2.5%

13

StemCells

$84

**

2.1%

14

Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MNTA)

$1,052

****

2.1%

15

Biogen Idec

$25,949

***

2.0%

Sources: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Gilead Sciences or are watching an up-and-comer like Aeterna Zentaris, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and Gilead Sciences. 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.