Shares of Vivus Inc. (VVUS) jumped as much as 20 percent to $7.36, the most intraday since July 13, after the Mountain View, Calif.-based drugmaker reported this morning that its experimental weightloss pill, Qnexa, returned solid results during a two-year study.
The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] raised objections about the long-term safety of Qnexa back in July, but Vivus’ latest data appeared to surpass the FDA’s guidelines for clinical trials of obesity treatments. Vivus said that during the clinical trial 54% of patients taking the higher dose of the drug lost 10% of their total weight compared to 12% of the placebo group. Additionally, no new side-effects were reported. The most common side-effects seen were constipation, tingling, dry mouth, altered taste and insomnia.
Optimism from the report continues to prompt Vivus shares higher by more than 13% on a notable volume spike, (21 mln today vs 5.3 mln average) erasing a portion of the ticker’s 32% year-to-date deficit. VVUS is currently trading well above its short-term resistance at $6.50, which has held the stock in check since the beginning of September. It is possible that the stock will pullback and retest its new found-support, now located in the mid $6’s. However, if VVUS consolidates above the $7 level, where it’s currently trading, then there is no overhead resistance until $8.
In terms of Vivus’ key ratios ; it’s hard to find favorable trends occurring in the co.’s numbers. VVUS faces a 396% deficit in its operating margin ; quarterly revenue growth stands at nearly (-74%) ; while ROA and ROE print (-26)% and (-57.2%), respectively.
VVUS is trading above the 50 day moving average of $6.07 — now acting as support — and lower than the 200 day moving average of $8.86.
Shares of Vivus are higher on the session by 87 cents, or 13.92%, currently trading at $7.06. The stock’s 52wk range is between $4.69 – $13.68.