Depomed, Sonoma Pharmaceuticals, Vertex News Today

Depomed, Sonoma Pharmaceuticals, and Vertex are in the news today

Mar 29, 2017 at 9:17 AM
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Stock futures are signaling a soft start to the day, as Brexit negotiations get underway across the pond. Among specific stocks in focus are drugmakers Depomed Inc (NASDAQ:DEPO), Sonoma Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:SNOA), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX). Here's a quick roundup of what's moving shares of DEPO, SNOA, and VRTX.

Depomed Stock Sinks on Sales Outlook, Starboard Deal

DEPO is down 4.4% ahead of the open, after the company named a new CEO as part of a deal with activist investor Starboard Value LP, and offered up a weak current-quarter sales forecast. Making matters worse, at least four analysts have responded with price-target cuts. Depomed Inc shares settled Tuesday at $14.23, having fallen sharply since their late-September annual high at $27.02. These technical woes have brought out the bears on Wall Street. Over 24% of DEPO's float is sold short, which translates into more than two weeks' worth of trading activity, at the stock's average daily volume.

FDA Clears Sonoma Pharmaceuticals Skin Descaler

SNOA's Loyon skin descaler received marketing clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, the stock is pointed 20% higher in electronic trading, relative to last night's close at $7.08, putting it on track to notch an annual high out of the gate. This could catch short sellers off-guard. During the last two reporting periods, short interest on Sonoma Pharmaceuticals Inc spiked 24.3%. That said, these bearish bets account for a minor 2% of SNOA stock's total float, so any potential short-squeeze won't be especially impactful on the charts.

Trial Data Could Send Vertex Stock to Triple Digits

VRTX's cystic fibrosis combination therapy succeeded in late-stage trials, prompting BMO to upgrade the stock's rating to "outperform" from "market perform," Also, Stifel and Janney raised their price targets to $129 and $102, respectively -- the former in annual-high territory. Shares of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated are nearly 20% higher in pre-market trading, suggesting they'll explore triple digits for the first time since August. Last night, VRTX -- historically among the best stocks to own in the second quarter -- closed at $89.67, having rallied sharply since its late-December low at $71.46. This price action has enthused bullish options traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). VRTX sports a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 5.11, in the 78th percentile of its annual range.

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