Biogen Idec (BIIB) is a large biotech growth stock that has given investors an average return of about 20% annually over the last 15 years, handily outpacing the broad market indexes over that same period. This is not to downplay the significant “stomach churning” volatility that an investor would need to endure to realize those investment gains. This stock is in the middle of a 20%+ correction over the last two months as the companies 1st quarter 2015 earnings results where released on April 24th and missed on estimates. The street was expecting $3.905 while the actual results came in at $3.82 for an earnings miss of about 2%.
This is not unusual price action for this stock however. The chart above shows that BIIB suffered a similar sized setback in 2014, perhaps in anticipation of the companies last earnings miss which happened to be their 1st quarter 2014 earnings report. The stock price fell 24% during that time frame as well.
So the question remains, has the market adequately priced in the most recent earnings miss?
It’s possible, given the fact that the stock price has now matched the size of the last previous correction and support near the 2014 high at $359 is nearby. I think the better indication may be in looking at the scope of the retracement rallies as a sign of potential underlying strength. So far the bounces off of support have been shallow and weak. The chart above shows the two most recent rallies, each generating an increase of $25 off of the lows.
So breaking this short term downtrend pattern may be the first clue as to a resumption of the prevailing macro uptrend.
(Disclosure: Long BIIB)