By David Sterman
NEW YORK (
) -- At the end of every quarter, I like to look back over recent market laggards. Most of the stocks that took a recent deep hit are likely to stay depressed, but some are the victim of investor over-reaction and poised for a rebound.
With that in mind, let's look at the five worst-performing small caps during the past month. All of these stocks are in the
Russell 2000 Index
of small caps, and each sport a market value of at least $300 million.
This biotech soared +83% in the third quarter. Roughly a third of that gain came on just one day in September when it received FDA approval for Krystexxa, a gout drug which targets patients for which other gout treatments have proven ineffective. Some analysts think Krystexxa represents $200-250 million in annual sales, while others peg it as a $750 million annual revenue opportunity.
Global Hunter Securities
figures the market niche is roughly $400 million. Savient announced back in May that it would put itself up for sale, and the FDA nod in September made it that much more attractive.
But earlier this week the company announced that a few potential buyers had decided to pass on an acquisition, and the company took itself off the block. Analysts believe the company's stock had simply become too expensive, sporting a market value of $1.4 billion. That figure now stands at $800 million. All of a sudden, this stock is now more reasonably priced for a deal. So those potential bidders could well return to the table with an offer of around $18 -- roughly +50% above the current price, but -20% lower than where the stock traded just last week. With FDA approval already in hand, and the gout treatment market increasing in size, shares now look quite attractive -- with or without a deal.
But a word of caution: If a buyer doesn't emerge in the next six months, Savient may need to raise more cash to launch Krystexxa commercially. And that's never a good thing for shares.
Retailers generally report that same-store sales rose or fell by a few percentage points compared to a year earlier. But when this retailer of women's apparel and jewelry announced that same stores fell a whopping -20% in its fiscal third quarter ended October, investors ditched the stock, sending shares down more than -30% on Oct. 19.