3 Stocks Advancing The Drugs Industry

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

All three major indices traded up today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading up 42 points (0.2%) at 17,616 as of Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, 3:25 PM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,612 issues advancing vs. 1,417 declining with 142 unchanged.

The Drugs industry as a whole closed the day up 0.8% versus the S&P 500, which was up 0.3%. Top gainers within the Drugs industry included ImmuCell ( ICCC), up 3.5%, EntreMed ( ENMD), up 3.7%, Can Fite Biofarma ( CANF), up 4.2%, Acura Pharmaceuticals ( ACUR), up 3.4% and NephroGenex ( NRX), up 3.1%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry higher today:

Acura Pharmaceuticals ( ACUR) is one of the companies that pushed the Drugs industry higher today. Acura Pharmaceuticals was up $0.02 (3.4%) to $0.60 on light volume. Throughout the day, 22,344 shares of Acura Pharmaceuticals exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 65,900 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $0.57-$0.60 after having opened the day at $0.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $0.58.

Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, researches, develops, and commercializes products to address medication abuse and misuse utilizing its proprietary Aversion and Impede technologies. Acura Pharmaceuticals has a market cap of $28.1 million and is part of the health care sector. Shares are down 65.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst who rates Acura Pharmaceuticals a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Acura Pharmaceuticals as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ACUR go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Pharmaceuticals industry average. The net income has decreased by 14.5% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from -$3.08 million to -$3.52 million.
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Pharmaceuticals industry and the overall market, ACURA PHARMACEUTICALS INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ACUR's stock share price has done very poorly compared to where it was a year ago: Despite any rallies, the net result is that it is down by 65.07%, which is also worse than the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • ACURA PHARMACEUTICALS INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ACURA PHARMACEUTICALS INC reported poor results of -$0.30 versus -$0.20 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.16 versus -$0.30).
  • ACUR's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 7.38 is very high and demonstrates very strong liquidity.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Acura Pharmaceuticals Ratings Report

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At the close, Can Fite Biofarma ( CANF) was up $0.11 (4.2%) to $2.70 on light volume. Throughout the day, 2,573 shares of Can Fite Biofarma exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 14,000 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $2.70-$2.75 after having opened the day at $2.74 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.59.

Can Fite Biofarma has a market cap of $25.8 million and is part of the health care sector. Shares are down 52.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

EntreMed ( ENMD) was another company that pushed the Drugs industry higher today. EntreMed was up $0.06 (3.7%) to $1.69 on light volume. Throughout the day, 7,697 shares of EntreMed exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 20,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $1.60-$1.69 after having opened the day at $1.60 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.63.

EntreMed has a market cap of $47.1 million and is part of the health care sector. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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