2 Soaring Pharma Stocks; Plus, the Furniture Retailer Taking a Seat After Earnings

ITCI is skyrocketing after an FDA nod, while PRTK is higher amid buyout buzz

by Katie Coburn

Published on Aug 23, 2017 at 1:24 PM

U.S. stocks are trading lower this afternoon, as markets continue to digest President Trump's talk of a government shutdown and the possible end of NAFTA. Among the stocks in the spotlight today are biotech companies Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc (NASDAQ:ITCI) and Paratek Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PRTK), as well as furniture retailer La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of ITCI, PRTK, and LZB.

ITCI Stock Soars On FDA Nod

Intra-Cellular Therapies stock is up 30.3% to trade at $14.68, after the company received positive feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for lumateperone, its lead experimental schizophrenia drug. Intra-Cellular now expects to submit a marketing application for the drug by mid-2018. As such, Leerink upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform," and hiked its price target by 75%, to $21 from $12. SunTrust Robinson also raised its price target on ITCI to $16 from $12.

Today's jump sent ITCI to an intraday high of $15.68 -- territory it hasn't visited since early April -- and has the stock set to conquer its 200-day moving average for the first time since late September 2016. ITCI also made it to the top of today's list for biggest percentage gainers on the Nasdaq. Still, five of the eight analysts following the stock rate it a "hold," leaving room for more bullish notes to spark additional buying pressure in the near term.   

PRTK Spikes Amid Buyout Buzz

Trailing right behind ITCI on today's list of biggest percentage gainers on the Nasdaq is Paratek Pharmaceuticals stock, now up 32.3% to trade at $25.20. PRTK's spike stems from reports the company is weighing a decision to sell itself amid takeover interest. Earlier today, PRTK reached an intraday high of $26.10, matching its 52-week high it set July 17.

Prior to today, the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 69% stood higher than just 12% of all other readings from the past year, indicating that near-term option traders were pricing in relatively low volatility expectations. Today, however, PRTK call volume is running at 12 times the average intraday pace, set for the 99th percentile of its annual range.

La-Z-Boy Shares Take a Blow After Weak Earnings

Worse-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings has shares of La-Z-Boy down 18.6% to trade at $25.45, pegging LZB as the worst stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. Earlier, the furniture stock touched an intraday low of $24.55 -- territory LZB hasn't seen since November 2016. After notching a record high of $34.10 in late July, LZB is now set to end the month beneath its 50-month moving average, which has happened just twice since 2010.

Some bears jumped ship a little too early ahead of the earnings report, as evidenced by the 12.4% decline in short interest on LZB during the last reporting period. Short interest, however, still represents more than five times the stock's average daily trading volume. Today, though, La-Z-Boy stock is on the short-sale restricted list.


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