Roka Bioscience Inc (ROKA) Shares Soar – Is a Short Squeeze the Culprit?


Roka Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ:ROKA) shares are up a lot in late afternoon trading. The company saw its shares start jumping around 2:50PM Eastern Time, on no apparent news. This has lead some investors to believe a short squeeze is the culprit.

Roka Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ:ROKA) is a company that has dedicated themselves to developing instrument systems and molecular assays for the Food Safety Industry. While they reported net losses of $8.49 million for the last quarter, ended September 30, this was an improvement over last year which saw losses of $9.08 million.

The stock is up 11.53% or $0.15 today, hitting $1.45 per share. About 283,643 shares traded hands or up 288.23% from the average. ROKA has declined 56.38% since May 1, 2015 and is currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 53.59%.

From a total of 3 analysts covering Roka Bioscience (NASDAQ:ROKA) stock, 1 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 2 a “Hold”. This means that 33% of the ratings are positive. The highest target price is $4 while the lowest target price is $2. The mean of all analyst targets is $2 which is 37.93% above today’s ($1.45) stock price. Roka Bioscience was the topic of 6 analyst reports since August 14, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Zacks upgraded shares on September 8 to a “Hold” rating.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 0.71 in Q2 2015. It’s down 1.19, from 1.9 in 2015Q1. The ratio fall, as 15 funds sold all their Roka Bioscience Inc shares they owned while 9 reduced their positions. 7 funds bought stakes while 10 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 13.41 million shares which is 6.99% less than the previous share count of 14.41 million in 2015Q1.

Drill Craig A holds 6.05% of its total portfolio in Roka Bioscience Inc, equating to 1.60 million shares. Nea Management Company Llc owns 3.22 million shares representing 0.44% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Aisling Capital Llc has 0.4% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 1.03 million shares. The Vermont-based Birchview Capital Lp has a total of 0.21% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Orbimed Advisors Llc, a New York-based fund reported 3.22 million shares owned.

Roka Bioscience, Inc. is a molecular diagnostics company. The company has a market cap of $25.18 million. The Firm is focused on the development and commercialization of molecular assay technologies for the detection of foodborne pathogens under the Atlas brand name. It currently has negative earnings. The Firm has launched Atlas Detection Assays and Atlas instrument in the North American food safety testing market and has rights to develop and commercialize its molecular testing solutions for a range of other industrial applications.