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)

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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