Analyst Update: BioScrip, ZIOPHARM Oncology, Cree

Analysts adjusted their ratings on BioScrip Inc (BIOS), ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (ZIOP), and Cree, Inc. (CREE)

Mar 10, 2015 at 12:07 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on biotechnology firms BioScrip Inc (NASDAQ:BIOS) and ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP), as well as LED specialist Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on BIOS, ZIOP, and CREE.

  • This morning, Dougherty & Company cut its price target on BIOS to $7.50 from $8 (while underscoring a "buy" rating), sending the shares to a five-year low of $3.65. At last check, BioScrip Inc has trimmed its deficit to 12.09% to linger at $3.79, bringing its year-to-date loss to 45.8%. Accordingly, put buying has ramped up in the options pits, as BIOS' 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 3.90 sits just 6 percentage points away from a pessimistic peak. What's more, BIOS' poor technical performance has earned it a spot on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list. Nearly 20% of the stock's available float is already sold short, which would take almost three weeks to cover, at average trading volumes.

  • Mizuho downgraded ZIOP to "neutral" from "buy," citing concerns about the stock's valuation. Today, the shares of ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. are down 4.6% to hit $13.27. Looking back, however, ZIOP has been a technical juggernaut, with the shares up a staggering 161.7% year-to-date. Yesterday, though, the equity was placed (and remains) on the SSR list, after the shares plummeted more than 10% out of the gate (but ultimately resolved to the upside). Short interest accounts for over 27% of the stock's available float, which would take nearly 13 sessions to cover, at average trading volumes. Sentiment in the options pits is nearing a bearish climax, as ZIOP's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.16 sits just 6 percentage points away the highest similar reading taken over the past year.

  • Last night, Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on CREE by $5 to $34, but underscored a "hold" rating. At last check, the shares of Cree, Inc. are bucking the broad-market trend lower -- up 0.1% to hit $38.84, contributing to a 20.5% year-to-date gain. As such, call activity is more popular than usual in the stock's options pits, as CREE's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.57 sits in the 32nd percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term traders are more call-skewed than usual.

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