This morning, PE Corp.-Celera Genomics (CRA) issued a press release indicating that they had completed the sequencing of the entire human genome. While this sequencing is based upon only one individual's genetic makeup, and the gene fragments still must be reassembled in the proper order, this is obviously one of the most important accomplishments in the entire history of mankind.
Therefore, we can expect a huge amount of media coverage to follow in the days and weeks ahead: J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Celera's president and chief scientific officer, will be on
"Power Lunch" today. Combine that with the fact that there exists a very large amount of short interest at this very moment from hedge funds and momentum players in many genomics companies, and that translates into one thing: a powder keg ready to explode.
In the near term, we can therefore expect a return to the speculative investment environment that previously surrounded any company that has anything to do with genomics, proteomics, gene evolution, gene shuffling, or any other gene-related "buzz word."
Just remember one thing: Eventually the values of all of the companies in these sectors and subsectors will be determined by whether they can reasonably be expected to achieve significant revenues and profitability in the foreseeable future. I have no idea whether this return to reality will take a few days, several weeks, or even a couple of months or years, but I know it will happen eventually. Those who have followed past bubbles in biotechnology or other sectors (think the Internet) know that it always does.
In other words, enjoy the ride, while it lasts!
Gabe Hoffman is the biotech and pharmaceuticals analyst for New York City-based Welch Capital Partners, LLC, an institutional money manager with $250 million in assets. Prior to that, he was at Paramount Capital, a biotech merchant banking firm and hedge fund manager. At time of publication, the firm's Welch Entrepreneurial Fund was long PE Celera Genomics, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Hoffman appreciates your feedback at