Analysts see an upside after market swings bludgeon biotechs

The roller coaster ride investors have been on for the past two weeks underscores an old bit of market wisdom: when the Dow and other indexes catch a cold, biotech gets pneumonia. By Friday analysts were totting up some of the worst casualties, like InterMune (down 32%), the once high-flying Human Genome Sciences (down 24%) and such stellar performers as Vertex.

It was a particularly bad time for any drug developer to unveil bad news, as Dendreon found out with its 72% free fall after acknowledging that Provenge sales were way off. By Friday afternoon, with stocks on a comeback, the S&P 500 was down 8.6% for the month while the BTK was off 17% for the same period, according to Dow Jones.

Add it all up, and you have a great time to buy, right?

"Biotech gets disproportionately punished when these things happen because of its high-risk profile," Canaccord Genuity analyst George Farmer tells the business wire news service. "I think it's a buying opportunity, especially for companies with strong balance sheets. The fundamentals for a lot of these smaller-cap companies are still intact. They're still moving ahead with their clinical trials."

- here's the story from Dow Jones