8 Biotech Stocks to Watch

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The markets were a mixed bag over the past month or so. The S&P 500 declined 2.8%, while the S&P 500 Biotechnology Index and the Nasdaq gained 3.3% and 4.1%, respectively. Industry analysts believe the recent selloff signals bargain-buying opportunities for investors as most of these stocks are trading at attractive discounts.

Despite challenges from the worldwide economic turmoil, the global biotech and pharmaceutical industry achieved profitability for the second consecutive year in 2010 with an acceleration in merger and acquisition activity. During the first quarter of 2011, the value of mergers and acquisitions in the biotech industry was more than $1 billion. Specifically, with cancer drugs costing the U.S. a whopping $30 billion each year, it is a lucrative sector for drug developers.

Based on latest quarterly results and according to analysts' recommendations, these eight biotech stocks have potential upsides ranging from 8% to 62%. On average, these stocks have buy recommendations of 65% and hold ratings of 29%, based on a Bloomberg consensus.

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These stocks are listed in ascending order of upside potential.

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