Wednesday Winners: Semis Continue Their Ascent

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Semiconductor stocks continue to deliver upside surprises. Integrated Silicon Solution (Nasdaq: ISSI) , is up nearly +20% today after topping estimates by a handy margin for the fourth straight quarter. Shares, which trade for less than 15 times projected 2010 profits, could see continued upside as management notes a swelling backlog and increasing design wins. Design wins are decisions by key customers to incorporate ISSI's specialized memory technology into new products that will often yield sales (and royalties to ISSI) when new products are released.

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You have to be impressed by a company that is doing well even as its end-markets remain depressed. Owens-Corning ( OC ) , which sells building materials into the residential and commercial construction market, delivered stellar first-quarter results, and management now thinks that per-share profits could nearly double this year to $2.00. Presumably, a healthier housing market in future years could spike profits sharply higher than that. Keep an eye out for analyst forecasts in this name, as the consensus profit estimates - especially for 2011 - are likely to spike far higher. How high they go will determine whether the stock looks like a bargain after today's +10% gain in the stock.

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Gout, a form of arthritis that generally afflicts middle-aged men, has been one of the fastest growing ailments in the United States. But current treatments are often ineffective or bring debilitating side effects. In response, any drug that shows promise in treating gout is bound to attract attention. Biocryst Pharma (Nasdaq: BCRX) , which is among several drug companies testing various treatments, just announced that its BCX4208 drug has proven effective in Stage 2 clinical trials. There are still a few more years worth of regulatory hurdles to surmount, but Biocryst faces a potentially large opportunity: More than five million Americans suffer from gout, a figure that is rising +10% annually. Shares of Biocryst are up more than +10% in Wednesday trading, but still trade at -40% below their 52-week high.

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Looking to research other companies seeking a remedy for gout? Ardea Biosciences' (Nasdaq: RDEA) key drug, RDEA594, has worked well in conjunction with Allopuriol, an existing treatment that reduces uric acid in blood. Management hopes to secure FDA approval by the end of this year. You can also check out Savient Pharma (Nasdaq: SVNT) , which is expected to receive FDA approval for its Krystexxa drug late this year as well.

-- David Sterman
Contributor
StreetAuthority

Disclosure: David Sterman does not own shares of any security mentioned in this article.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: BCRX , ISSI , OC , RDEA , SVNT

David Sterman

David Sterman

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