Even a dart-tosser could make a 45 percent return on biotechstocks last quarter. In a period when only six of the 76 stockstracked by BioWorld failed to rise, the BioWorld dart-tosserturned $10,000 into $14,499.

The leader in BioWorld's stock contest for the quarter endedMarch 28 is New York investor David Blech, who had thesimplest portfolio of any of BioWorld's biotech experts, each ofwhom invested a hypothetical $10,000.

By holding onto his $10,000 investment in Bio-TechnologyGeneral Corp., Blech increased the value of his portfolio to$22,142.

In second place, with a portfolio valued at $21,479, is RichardBock, senior vice president of investments at Sutro & Co. in LosAngeles. The group's most active trader, Bock said he buys andsells stocks based on market timing. "If you bottom fish inDecember for low-priced stocks, they usually bounce back inJanuary," he said.

Bock began the year with holdings in Hana Biologics Inc., Bio-Technology General Corp., Cambridge Biotech Corp. and NovaPharmaceutical Corp. He sold Nova and bought Quidel Corp. inJanuary. He sold Quidel and Cambridge Biotech in February,buying American Biogenetics Corp.

Denise Gilbert, an analyst with County NatWest in SanFrancisco, is in third place with a portfolio worth $17,679.Gilbert added Genentech Inc. to her holdings of Amgen Inc. andGenzyme Corp. when Genentech's stock was selling at about$22. She said it had significant upside potential "just based onthe terms of its merger" with Roche Holding Ltd.

Jim McCamant, editor of the Medical Technology Stock Letter inBerkeley, Calif., held onto his four stocks, saying they were stillrelatively undervalued compared with the biotech group as awhole. Those stocks are Calgene Inc., Xoma Corp., CaliforniaBiotechnology Inc. and Cytogen Corp. His portfolio is now worth$14,015.

Bob Fildes, former chief executive at Cetus Corp., sold Amgen,Genetics Institute Inc. and Synergen Inc. in February when hefelt they were nearing their peak. His portfolio, consisting ofCetus, Applied Biosystems Inc. and cash is worth $15,646.

Using BioWorld's dart-tossing investment strategy, stafferPatty Fox zeroed in on Greenwich Pharmaceuticals Inc., CelgeneCorp., Immunex Corp. and TSI Corp., formerly called TransgenicSciences.

But the dart-tosser's $14,499 still finished behind a portfolio of21 stocks picked by BioWorld readers, who ended up with$15,706 on their $10,000 fantasy investment. A third of thereaders' portfolio was invested in three stocks -- Amgen, Cetusand Immunex. Big movers -- stocks with more than 100percent price increases during the quarter -- includedLiposome Co. (231 percent), Epitope Inc. (141 percent),Immunomedics Inc. (123 percent), BTGC (122 percent), Cetus(116 percent), Amgen (111 percent) and Synergen (106percent).

For the contest, the beginning portfolios were "bought" at Dec.31 prices. In addition, experts were allowed to trade for "free,"so that brokerage costs and commissions did not reduce thetotal returns. Cash holdings were invested in a "money marketfund" that returned 6.6 percent for the quarter.

-- Karen Bernstein BioWorld Staff

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.