Surging Drug Stock Has Room to Run

It's a prime time to purchase short-term ENDP options, too

Managing Editor
Sep 4, 2018 at 2:23 PM
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Ireland-based drugmaker Endo International plc (NASDAQ:ENDP) has been on a torrid pace this summer, and earlier today nabbed a fresh annual high of $17.46. If history is any guide, though, the fun could be far from over for ENDP stock.

Specifically, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 33% ranks in the 7th percentile of its annual range. This indicates short-term options have priced in lower volatility expectations just 7% of the time within the past year.

What's more, according to data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White, there has been just one other time ENDP has been trading within 2% of a new 52-week high while near-term options have been so cheap, from a volatility perspective. Following this signal, the drug stock was up 35% one month later. A move of similar proportions from its current perch of $17.10 would put ENDP above $23 for the first time since 2016. 

The stock has consistently rewarded premium buyers over the past year. This is based on its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 93 out of a possible 100, which means the shares have tended to make outsized moves relative to what the options market has priced in.

There are other indications to believe ENDP's surge has staying power. A flurry of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could also create tailwinds for the stock, considering 13 of the 19 analysts in coverage maintain a tepid "hold" recommendation. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $15.87 sits below last week's closing perch. 

Short sellers have been hitting the exits, and a continued exodus could squeeze the remaining bearish bettors. Short interest fell by nearly 12% in the most recent reporting period, yet the 35.17 million shares sold short represents almost 20% of the total available float. At the security's average daily trading volume ,it would take four-and-a-half days to buy back those short positions.

Looking at the charts, the drug stock has more than tripled from its early May lows at $5.27. The shares have been guided higher by their ascending 20-day moving average, and earlier this month gapped higher after an upbeat quarterly report and licensing deal with Nevakar.

Daily Stock Chart ENDP


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