Drug News Drives Dizzying Day for Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc (CPXX)

Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CPXX) was halted earlier due to volatility

Apr 18, 2016 at 1:50 PM
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It's been a crazy day for biotech stock Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CPXX). The stock exploded 15.6% out of the gate to an all-time high of $17.40, after the company announced positive results for its leukemia drug, VYXEOS. However, CPXX then took a turn for the worse, falling all the way to $13, after it was discovered that the company has suspended participant recruitment in a mid-stage study for reasons so far unknown. After being halted for volatility, CPXX has resumed trading and was last seen 1.7% higher at $15.30. 

CPXX Intraday Chart2

CPXX has been known to make outsized moves. In fact, positive data on VYXEOS back on March 14 sent the shares soaring over 400% in the following session. CPXX has kept rolling since then, advancing roughly 71%.

Though it was placed on the short-sale restricted list amid today's volatility, CPXX isn't a heavily shorted stock. In fact, it'd take short sellers less than one day to cover their positions, at average daily volumes. 

Still, some bears have made an appearance in the stock's options pits today. At last check, more than 1,700 puts had traded, compared to the average of 191 contracts at this point in the day. The May series accounts for each of the 10 most popular strikes, with the May 12 put holding the top spot -- and seeing buy-to-open activity.

It's usually call buying that dominates CPXX's options trading. For instance, almost five calls have been bought to open for every put during the past 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). 

Meanwhile, as with this fellow biotech stock, analysts are firmly behind Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CPXX). All five brokerage firms covering CPXX recommend buying it, while the stock's consensus 12-month price target stands in all-time-high territory at $19.75. 

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