IsoRay (ISR) Spikes Again on Announcement of Presentations at Weekend Conference

Joel Anderson  |

Shares in small-cap health care company IsoRay (ISR) took off again on Tuesday after announcing plans to present five papers at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Brachytherapy Society (ABS).

"IsoRay is pleased to once again participate at the ABS annual meeting,” said CEO Dwight Babcock. “At this venue, thought leaders including Drs. Ron Benoit, Sushil Beriwal and Ryan P. Smith of the University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC), Drs. Bhupesh Parashar and Gabriella Wernicke of Weill Cornell Medical College, and Dr. Brian Moran of the Chicago Prostate Center will be panelists or present their papers documenting their experiences and success in using our products.

IsoRay’s stock gapped up 17.3 percent to $2.58 a share with the opening bell and climbing to a high of $2.79 a share in choppy trading before pulling back to just under $2.60 by late morning. Shares were moving at a brisk clip, with over 17 million changing hands before noon against an average daily volume of just over 11.5 million.

The fact that the mere announcement of these presentations was enough to spike the stock like this would come as a surprise were it not for the wild March IsoRay just went through. The stock was trading at less than $1 a share until a March 14 article on Seeking Alpha prompted a boot to over $1.10 a share. However, it was five days later on March 19 when shares positively exploded following the announcement that IsoRay’s Cesium-131 brachytherapy had been used to effectively treat an aggressive form of cancer in a pediatric patient.

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Since then, IsoRay has seen its volume skyrocket with big price swings on multiple days, including a pullback from 7-year highs after the announcement of a new public offering, then another rebound after the stock appeared to cross over into oversold territory.

The treatment driving IsoRay’s huge month is brachytherapy, or internal radiotherapy, using Cesium-131. It’s a method for radiation treatment of cancer that involves focused radiation through placing the radiation source, in IsoRay’s case a Cesium-131 seed mesh, into the human body surrounding the affected area.

However, beyond the science and fundamentals, it’s important to note that IsoRay appears to have become a popular momentum stock that’s closely watched by traders. Its average daily volume is more than 20 percent of its total float, and the stock’s heavy trading and incredible volatility is precisely what traders on the hunt for a quick play are looking for.

As such, the fact that the 14-day stochastic RSI for IsoRay’s stock had fallen below 0.20 is notable prior to the day’s surge. Stochastic RSI is popular with traders, and a level below 0.20 is traditionally viewed as oversold territory. And, while the 14-day RSI remains relatively high, it’s stayed under 70, the level above which stocks are traditionally viewed as being overbought, since its pull-back started on March 22.

So, with a news item to act as a catalyst and a buy signal from a key technical factor, it appears as though Wall Street’s favorite momentum play has struck again. Investors anticipating another big spike following the presentations at the conference, which takes place this weekend, could be trying to get in ahead of any new data that could be released, and it seems possible this action is getting buoyed by traders who, noting the stochastic RSI and the upward momentum, are jumping onto the big gains.

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