Geron Corp. (NASDAQ: GERN) surged right out of the gate Friday morning, as traders cheered the stem cell stock's narrower-than-expected quarterly loss. After Thursday's close, Geron reported a third-quarter loss of $15.2 million, or 17 cents per share, while revenue arrived at $494,000.
Operating expenses for the quarter fell on a year-over-year basis from $18.3 million to $16.9 million, while research and development costs dwindled from $14.2 million to $13.4 million.
The bottom-line quarterly results bested analysts' consensus estimates, which called for a loss of 21 cents per share. However, revenue fell shy of Wall Street's expectations for $640,000.
GERN bolted to an early intraday peak of $6.49, up 12.5% from Thursday's close, before giving back some of its gains. The security is struggling against short-term pressure from its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, which have acted as intermittent resistance since early August.
The breakout rally was likely the result of short covering, since short interest accounts for a hefty 14.8% of GERN's float. At the stock's average daily volume, this translates to roughly 10.5 days' worth of potential buying pressure.