Horizon Pharma, La Jolla Pharmaceutical, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals News Today

Horizon Pharma PLC (HZNP), La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (LJPC), and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BCRX) are making headlines today

Feb 27, 2017 at 9:47 AM
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Stocks in the U.S. are off to a lower start, with traders awaiting tomorrow's speech from the president for clues on upcoming tax reform. Among specific equities in focus today are drug stocks Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:HZNP), La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ:LJPC), and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX). Here's a quick look at the news driving HZNP, LJPC, and BCRX shares.

Earnings Beat Fails to Boost Horizon Pharma

A stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings report doesn't seem to be impressing HZNP traders, with the shares down 3.7% at $16.80. The stock is now testing support at its year-to-date breakeven level, and even before today the shares were running into trouble at a key retracement level, as well as their 80-day moving average. Horizon Pharma PLC could be in for more trouble if analysts begin lowering their outlooks. At present, six out of seven brokerage firms rate the equity a "strong buy," without a single "sell" opinion on the books.

Drug Data Has La Jolla Eyeing Annual Highs

LJPC popped 50% out of the gate to trade at $29.71, tapping a fresh annual high of $30.34 at the open. Boosting the stock this morning are positive results in a phase 3 trial of the company's blood pressure drug, LJPC-501. The shares have been setting a series of higher lows for the past year, and are now up more than 66% so far in 2017. Today's breakout may have options bears sweating. Amid relatively light volume, speculators have purchased 4.85 La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company puts for each call over the past 10 weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- a put/call volume ratio higher than 94% of all comparable readings from the last 12 months.

Short Sellers Applaud as BioCryst Slides

BCRX fell to its lowest level since early November, off 23% at $4.23. This drop comes despite an upbeat interim report on a phase 2 trial of the company's hereditary angioedema treatment, APeX-1, as well as a slimmer-than-expected quarterly loss. The shares have already given up nearly one-third of their value year-to-date, and have today surrendered support at the 120-day moving average, which has been keeping losses in check since last July. Short sellers certainly won't mind a further decline, though. At present, 18.5% of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s available float is wrapped up in these bearish bets, accounting for nearly 12 sessions' worth of trading, at the stock's average daily volume. Today, however, BCRX has landed on the short-sale restricted list.

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