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How Steven Cohen Just Made Shares of This Company Soar 43%

May 2, 2016, 6:56 PM UTC
Key Speakers At The Robin Hood Veterans Summit
Steven "Steve" Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Captial Advisors LP, speaks during the Robin Hood Veterans Summit in New York, U.S., on Monday, May 7, 2012. The one-day summit discusses transitioning the country's armed forces personnel back to civilian life. Photographer: via Getty Images
Photograph by Scott Eells — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Perhaps it’s the power of Steven Cohen. Perhaps it’s the power of piggy back trades.

But after Steven Cohen disclosed an increased stake in small biopharmaceutical company Pernix Therapeutics (PTX), the stock soared as much as 70% in trading Monday.

According to a Friday regulatory filing, Cohen’s family fund Point72 Asset Management increased its stake in Pernix to 5.8% from a 1.7% stake by the end of 2015. Back then, the stake was worth $3.1 million.

New Jersey-based Pernix specializes in the less covered areas of neurological and psychiatric diseases. The company is also currently selling migraine drug Treximet and insomnia drug Silenor. In 2015, the company attributed much of its growth to heavy promotional practices, including training more sales people.

The disclosure comes ahead of Pernix’s first quarter earnings on Thursday. Analysts are expecting a loss of six cents per share on revenue of $44.55 million. That compares to a net loss per share of 11 cents in the same quarter last year, on revenue of $33.89 million.

Previously, Cohen revealed a stake in fellow pharmaceutical company, Celator (CPXX), sending shares up over 400% in trading in March. That came just before Celator revealed successful results for its clinical trials.


In early February, Pernix was also reportedly considering a potential sale, according to Reuters. The move would not be unlikely seeing as 2016 has been heavy in pharmaceutical and biotech company mergers and acquisitions.

“Given the tough market ahead in 2016 for Pernix, we do not believe the company will remain as an independent company for much longer,” noted Brean Capital analyst Difei Yang in a March note. “In our conversation with the CFO, he did not provide much details on potential deal talks; however, we believe that the deal structure remains unchanged. It is more likely to be a merger than a cash acquisition, but the deal may take longer than we had expected. He hopes to announce a deal before the end of 2016.”

Meanwhile, former hedge manager Cohen is still barred from trading outsider money after being implicated in an insider trading case that involved his now defunct fund, SAC Capital.