Analyst Update: Mallinckrodt PLC, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Vascular Biogenics Ltd

Analysts are weighing in on Mallinckrodt PLC (MNK), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc (ALXN), and Vascular Biogenics Ltd (VBLT)

Celeste Taylor
Nov 29, 2016 at 3:32 PM
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U.S. stocks have turned higher on upbeat economic data. Among specific equities in focus today are biotech stocks Mallinckrodt PLC (NYSE:MNK), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN), and Vascular Biogenics Ltd (NASDAQ:VBLT). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on MNK, ALXN, and VBLT.

  • MNK is down 8.8% at $52.60 -- on pace for its lowest close in a year -- after the company delivered an earnings win, but offered a lackluster generics revenue outlook for fiscal 2016. Nevertheless, BMI reiterated its "outperform" rating on MNK, as well as its $92 price target for the shares. MNK is down over 38% since its August highs, and is on pace for a monthly loss of 11.7%, with help from a scathing Citron Research report. Near-term option players may be sweating after today's drop, with Mallinckrodt PLC's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.05 sitting in the bottom quartile of its annual range, indicating short-term option players have been more call-skewed than usual as of late.

  • ALXN is trading up 6% at $126.53, boosted by an upgrade to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Barclays, which also raised its price target to $155 from $150. Still, ALXN has shed approximately one-third of its value since the beginning of 2016, with the shares encountering resistance from their 160-day moving average several times since January. In the option pits, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. sports a 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 1.51 -- in the 71st percentile of its annual range, indicating a bullish appetite among option buyers. 

  • VBLT is one of the top performers on the Nasdaq today, trading up 15% at $5.75, after the company announced positive results for its thyroid cancer drug study. Following this announcement, Roth Capital affirmed its "buy" rating on the stock, along with its $17 price target -- roughly triple VBLT's current perch. VBLT shares have enjoyed support from their 80-day moving average since late May, and have more than doubled since hitting record lows of $2.76 in February. With this technical backdrop, it seems short sellers are hitting the exits, with Vascular Biogenics LTD's short interest down over 18% in the last two reporting periods.
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