The Gene-Editing Breakthrough Boosting this Biotech Stock

Sangamo Therapeutics made history

Josh Selway
Nov 15, 2017 at 9:55 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on homebuilder Beazer Homes USA, Inc. (NYSE:BZH), Chinese social media stock YY Inc (NASDAQ:YY), and biotech Sangamo Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SGMO). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of BZH, YY, and SGMO.

More Highs for BZH Stock After Earnings Beat

Beazer Homes last night announced a top- and bottom-line beat for the company's fiscal fourth quarter, boosting the stock to a three-and-a-half-year high of $23.24, up 7.8%. Meanwhile, Wedbush raised its price target to $22 from $15. BZH shares had added 83% year-over-year even before today, and are pacing for their third straight post-earnings win.

Even so, options traders were unusually put-heavy going into the quarterly event. This is according to Beazer Homes' Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.20, showing put open interest more than doubles call open interest among options expiring within three months. And this reading ranks in the upper quartile of readings from the past year, showing such a put-skew has been rare.

Analysts Foresee Impressive Stock Rally From YY

Shares of China-based YY are up 6.2% at $94.76, after the company's third-quarter earnings and revenue topped expectations. Jefferies is expecting even more upside, upgrading the stock this morning to "buy" from "hold," and boosting its price target by $31 to $110, expressing optimism in the company's latest app update. Benchmark also weighed in with a price-target increase to $127.

The equity's record peak was reached just a month ago, standing at $97.59, so both price targets are deep into uncharted territory. But YY stock has trended nicely atop its 50-day moving average in 2017, adding 140% along the way. These gains may be partially due to a year's-long decline in short interest, including a 19.5% drop in the last two reporting periods.

Sangamo Therapeutics Stock Rises After Gene-Editing Breakthrough

A breakthrough drug trial has Sangamo Therapeutics stock up 10.4% this morning at $14.30. Specifically, the company this morning announced it had successfully edited the DNA cells of a patient with Hunter syndrome, an inherited metabolic disease. SGMO hit a two-year high of $17.06 on Oct. 5, and the subsequent pullback was neatly contained by the 100-day moving average. On a year-to-date basis, the security was up more than 300% even before today.

Piper Jaffray responded to the news by upgrading the stock to "overweight" from "neutral," and more than doubling its price target to $19 from $8. As one reason for the bull note, the brokerage firm cited Sangamo's deal with Pfizer (PFE) struck earlier this year.

Not surprisingly, many were betting against the clinical-stage biotech. Short interest represents almost 11% of the float, which equates to five times SGMO stock's average daily trading volume. If Sangamo Therapeutics can shake free some of these bears, it could enjoy additional tailwinds on the charts.


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