Drug Stock Stays Hot After COVID-19 Treatment Update

REGN is up 30% in 2020 while most other stocks tank

Managing Editor
Mar 17, 2020 at 2:27 PM
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One of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN), last seen up 10.8% to trade at $488.42. This comes after the drugmaker announced it had identified hundreds of antibodies for potential treatment of coronavirus. Regeneron plans to identify the top two to develop a "cocktail" treatment, and begin large-scale manufacturing by mid-April.

Earlier, Regeneron stock hit a two-year high of $512.98 out of the gate. While the shares were not exempt from the broad market selloff, their 30-day moving average kept the pullback in check. REGN is now up 28.2% year-to-date, 

So far, analysts have been hesitant to shift their stance. Of the 20 brokerages in coverage, nine rate REGN a tepid "hold," and the consensus 12-month price target of $465.57 is a 4.6% discount to its current perch. In other words, should more positive pipeline developments emerge, a round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could boost the equity.

Options traders have preferred calls lately. Specifically, the 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) checks in at 3.88. The current reading is three percentage points from an annual high underscoring the strangeness of the trading action. Today, the March 500 and 550-strike calls are leading the charge, with new positions being opened at each.



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