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Oh dear! It appears from a TR-1 released by Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) today as though IP Group (IPO) - a Woodford investee - has been selling shares in Circassia, a favourite of Neil Woodford...
I have been taking a look through the FCA table of registered short positions, following my piece on Interserve of Friday. I don’t offer anything exhaustive, but the largest individual short positions interested me as they are as high as 5.42% of the capital. That’s quite a bet. Oh, and just as it happens, Neil Woodford features with two of them. They are also all stocks where we at ShareProphets have been bearish.
If you read the bent, freebie is our middle name, personal financie columnists in the deadwood press, fund manager Neil Woodford walks on water. I disagree and have noted before, that, maybe, after three dismal years, others are starting to see the light. But, with assistance from a leading broker, how about we have a real look at the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) but also at the sort of dogs Neil ifalls in love with.
Shares in Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) have flatlined since the big sneeze last June when the company reported the failure of its cat allergy trials. Once close to a market value of £1 billion this company has proved to be the biggest ramp in the UK Biotech sector in recent years, supported by the bluebloods of JP Morgan Cazenove and, of course, Neil Woodford.
Hats off to veteran journalist Tim Blackstone who called Circassia (CIR) as a short with a £900 million market cap on January 16 this year HERE. Today the shares have crashed by 64% to 98.5p giving it a market cap of just £261 million. Tim Blackstone dared to go up against Neil Woodford with this call as he is the largest shareholder. It looks like another biotech disaster for Woodie.
In the mid nineties the flagship of UK biotech was British Biotech a constituent of the FTSE 100 share index with a valuation of £1.5 billion. The company enjoyed the support of the leading healthcare analyst, Dr Ian White, and rode high on a supposed inhibitor for cancer called marimastat. In my swansong as a financial journalist I wrote a devastating critique in the Mail on Sunday in the summer of 1996 with on the record quotes from leading oncologists in Edinburgh and London. Subsequent investigations on both sides of the Atlantic found that the company “had wilfully misled the public about the progress of marimastat”. British Biotech collapsed.
Circassia Pharma (CIR) may not be a company name most are familiar with, but at least from a technical perspective its shares have had an overall constructive setup over recent months. I now provide an upside share price target.
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