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Volatility, Anyone?


October’s market downdraft whacked the Genome Technology Index about as hard as any. The GTI as a whole is off almost 19 percent and only four companies (Affymetrix, ABI, Cepheid, and Invitrogen) ended the month on an up note.

Deltagen took the biggest hit, shedding almost half of its market value. Lynx was a close second, with a 44 percent drop.

It raises a question: Of the GTI companies that have gone public so far in 2000, which are most volatile and which most stable? The answer is found by dividing the average daily closing price post-IPO into the standard deviation over the same interval. A high value means big swings and a low value means (relative) stability.

Hours could be spent speculating why DeCode Genetics has been the least volatile stock in the GTI since its July IPO, but the numbers speak for themselves. The average price for DCGN has been just over $25 with a standard deviation of less than $3. In fact, DeCode has closed below $18 only once and has never closed above $29. This is what passes for stability in genomics technology.

Runner-up for stability was Lion, with an average share price of $86.68 and a standard deviation of $11.36.

If it’s volatility you’re looking for, see Lexicon. Since its IPO in April LEXG has swung from under $10 to over $47, with an average of $24.85 and a standard deviation of $11.07 ¯ more than 44 percent. Runner-up honors go to Orchid, with an average price of $30.5 and a standard deviation of $12.14.


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