2 Biotech Stocks Receiving Bearish Analyst Attention

PTCT stock resumed trading after being halted for an FDA panel review yesterday

by Patrick Martin

Published on Sep 29, 2017 at 10:16 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Analysts are weighing in on biotech stocks PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTCT) and Prothena Corporation (NASDAQ:PRTA), as well as oil-and-gas stock Weatherford International (NYSE:WFT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on shares of PTCT, PRTA, and WFT.

PTC Therapeutics Stock Resumes Trading, Shrugs Off Price-Target Cut

Earlier in the week, PTC Therapeutics stock tanked after a preliminary Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review of the company's DMD drug said the data wasn't "persuasive." The stock was halted all day yesterday for an FDA panel review of the drug, which conclude with panelists stating that while ataluren may work, the data was inconclusive.

PTCT stock resumed trading today, and is currently up 6% to trade at $18.45, despite receiving a price-target cut to $15 from $22 at Barclays. The shares have shed 16% since touching an annual high of $22 on Sept. 6. Analysts remain skeptical. Of the eight brokerages covering the biotech stock, six rate it a "hold." 

PRTA's Subpar Drug Data Leads To Price-Target Cut

Prothena Corporation stock is down 4.5% to trade at $64.68, after the biotech's psoriasis drug failed to "meet pre-specified criteria ... required to advance PRX003 into mid-stage clinical development." As such, Cantor Fitzgerald cut its price target on PRTA stock to $79 from $86, though the target still represents expected upside of 22% from the equity's current perch.

PRTA stock touched an annual high of $70 yesterday, and despite today's hiccup, remains 32% higher year-to-date. Short sellers -- including Muddy Waters -- are likely cheering PRTA's short-term breather. Short interest has increased by 63% since mid-April, to 6.85 million shares -- roughly 18% of PRTA's total available float.

Analyst Revises Weatherford International's Price Target

Weatherford International stock is up 0.5% to trade at $4.54, despite Guggenheim reducing its price target to $7.50 from $8.50. The new price target still represents a 65% increase from the energy stock's current perch. WFT stock has shed 20% year-over-year, and touched a roughly 20-year low in early July. Since then, Weatherford stock has struggled to break past the $4.70 region.

Considering Weatherford shares have shed about one-third their value in the past six months, the stock could be vulnerable to more analyst backlash. Right now, 11 out of 16 analysts still consider WFT a "buy" or better.

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