Market value tracking: Sepracor Inc. (SEPR)

Down, but hardly out

Sepracor's 21 percent slide to $98.125 last week may have left recent investors below water, but those who bought the stock in the second half of 1999 are still sitting on profits.

SEPR's tumble last week was triggered by a court decision that could open up the door to generic competition for partner Eli Lilly's Prozac as early as next February, before the pharma company can complete development of SEPR's pure R-enantiomeric form of the anti-depressant drug (see Technology Briefing, A7).

SEPR spent most of the second half of 1999 between the mid-$30s and the mid-$50s (split adjusted). Friday's close puts the stock in the middle of its 52-week range of $32.75 to $140. SEPR hit the 52-week high in early July, and had more than recouped its losses from the March biotech sell-off. The shares, which had traded in the low $120s, dipped to the low $70s through mid-April before making the run to $140.

The chart shows the weekly change in the indexed market value of SEPR (dotted line with triangles) compared to The Carson 2000 Tier I Index of 20 large cap companies (>$1B, solid line with squares). The initial index value is100 as of Dec. 31, 1998. SEPR's market cap is about $7.2 billion.