Pharma Stock Flashes Buy Before Earnings

Amarin options are attractively priced, even with earnings on deck

Oct 26, 2018 at 10:31 AM
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While the rest of the stock market has suffered in October -- the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is set for its worst month since the 2008 financial crisis -- Amarin Corporation (NASDAQ:AMRN) has added more than 30%. What's more, the pharmaceutical concern just yesterday notched a new 11-year high, and one indicator suggests it could be time to buy AMRN call options ahead of earnings.

The pharmaceutical concern added more than 400% in the month of September, thanks to a bull gap stemming from upbeat data on Amarin's heart drug, Vascepa. Since that Sept. 24 surge to $12.40, AMRN stock has added an additional 75%, and was last seen trading around $21.64.

AMRN stock chart oct 26

As such, Amarin is one of just a handful of stocks to appear on our internal screen for high-flying equities with relatively low-cost options. Specifically, AMRN's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 197% is in the bottom 20% of its annual range, suggesting near-term options are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations for the shares, even with earnings slated for release on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Looking back, there have been just five other times when AMRN was within 2% of a 52-week high while simultaneously boasting an SVI in the bottom fifth of its annual range. After these signals, the shares went on to average a one-month gain of 13.53%, per data from Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.

Echoing that, AMRN moved higher after the company's last two earnings reports, advancing 7.8% the day after reporting in August. If past is prologue, now could be an opportune time to buy short-term calls on the outperformer.


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