Trading action for small-cap medical device company IsoRay (ISR) was volatile in early on in Monday's session, opening up, swinging to a loss, and then returning to strong gains all before 11 am. It comes on the first trading day following a wild Friday where the stock gained 27.59 percent in a day.
There hasn’t been a clear news item motivating gains on either day, but the timing of a Seeking Alpha article by Sujan Lahiri that was overwhelmingly positive and featured an interview with Chairman and CEO Dwight Babcock makes it appear as though the piece could have been what’s moving the needle for IcoRay’s stock.
Friday saw the stock open at $0.86 a share and showed little movement in either direction. However, Lahiri’s Seeking Alpha piece was published at 11:47 am, prompting an almost simultaneous move in the stock’s price that picked up momentum as the day wore on and ultimately resulted in the stock gaining more than a quarter of its previous value and closing at $1.11 a share.
It seems likely that some of what Babcock revealed during his interview; with included projections about the company’s market share, the nature of its products, and where he believes the company’s stock should be trading; must have sparked the heavy trading.
Monday’s trading saw the stock gap up to $1.18 a share to start trading, peaked at $1.23 at 9:36, fall sharply to $1.06 a share by 9:42, then rebounded to gradually return to a share price of close to $1.20 for gains of over 7 percent.
A look at trading volume for IsoRay also could give a little more insight into its volatile action over these last two days. Volume increased dramatically during the buying spree that appears to have been sparked by Lahiri’s article, and Monday has seen the company trading at a brisk clip yet again, clearing 7 million shares by 12:30. The stock’s average daily volume is just over 1 million shares a day.
The stock is also bouncing off of a rising support level that has repeatedly been tested since developing in mid-December. It’s possible that traders had their confidence bolstered by the sense that the stock had a clear bottom, allowing for Lahiri’s article to provide the catalyst they needed to make a run.
IsoRay’s technology is built around using Cesium-131 for internal radiotherapy. From the company’s website:
“IsoRay Medical™ utilizes proprietary technologies to deliver novel brachytherapy approaches to clinicians. IsoRay's Cesium-131 isotope has been used as primary treatment for prostate cancer in over 7,000 patients. As adjuvant radiation therapy, Cesium-131 is being employed in the management of non-small cell lung cancer, intra-cranial tumors (including meningiomas), and head & neck malignancies post-surgical resection.”
Lahiri’s article expressed a belief that brachytherapy was set to become a standard treatment for several types of cancer while also observing that IsoRay holds a monopoly on Cesium-131 treatments.
“A thoughtful review of the literature would suggest that interstitial brachytherapy offers a therapeutic advantage over other local treatment modalities and should be considered standard treatment for aggressive organ-confined prostate cancer,” he wrote.
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