Although the broader markets are relatively calm, five stocks, Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:JAZZ) are each surging for various reasons. In this article, let’s uncover why traders are buying and analyze smart money sentiment toward them.
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Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) shares are 28% in the green after the company reported that opioid analgesic NKTR-181 met both primary and secondary endpoints in a phase 3 study for patients with moderate to severe chronic pain. The FDA has granted NKTR-181 its fast track designation for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain. Martin Hale, M.D., medical director of Gold Coast Research, said, ‘The data from this efficacy study are extremely important because they demonstrate that NKTR-181 produces strong analgesia in patients suffering from chronic pain while NKTR-181 has also demonstrated significantly lower abuse potential than oxycodone in a human abuse potential study’. Full data from the phase 3 study will be presented at a medical meeting in the second half of 2017. Of the 742 elite funds we track, 16 funds owned $152.96 million of Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) and accounted for 8.10% of the float on December 31, versus 17 funds and $222.31 million respectively on September 30.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) has surged 6.3% after Mark Lipacis of Jefferies upped his price target on the semi-conductor maker to $16 from $13, citing improved visibility for the company’s launch of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processor. Given that product launch, the analyst thinks AMD will gain ‘meaningful’ market share versus Intel in the Server, Desktop, and Notebook segments this year. 32 top funds had a bullish position in Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) at the end of the fourth quarter, down 15 funds from the previous quarter.
On the next page, we examine Esperion Therapeutics Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc – Ordinary Shares.
Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) shareholders are pretty happy today after the company announced that the FDA recently confirmed that ‘Esperion’s LDL-C lowering program is adequate to support approval of an LDL-C lowering indication for bempedoic acid’. The company continues to plan to submit a NDA by the first half of 2019 for n LDL-C lowering indication based on the successful completion of the global pivotal Phase 3 program. Although many analysts expected this news and approval is still years away, shares of the stock have rallied 50% anyway. The number of elite funds with holdings in Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) fell by 4 quarter-over-quarter to 8 at the end of December.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) shares have popped 2% due to technical buying today. Sentiment around Chinese internet stocks has improved as the previously frothy relationship between the U.S. and China looks to thaw as the two nations work toward resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. Recently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with the Chinese President, and President Trump is expected to meet with Xi Jinping soon as well. If the Chinese-U.S. relationship improves, the risk of a damaging trade war is lower. 86 top funds were long Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) as of the most recent 13-F reporting period, down 18 funds from the previous quarter.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:JAZZ) has rallied almost 6% after the company reported positive efficacy data from its Phase 3 TONES 3 and TONES 4 studies. The studies analyzed JZP-110 for potential treatment of the excessive sleepiness symptom associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Gary Nachman of BMO Capital reiterates that Jazz is a ‘top pick’ and feels the data substantially de-risks the program. 34 top funds were long Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc – Ordinary Shares (NASDAQ:JAZZ) at the end of December, down 7 funds from the previous quarter.