Acorda Rallies, Shire Slides, and Dycom Earnings Get Hacked

Shire is falling after rival Roche reported upbeat hemophilia drug results

Managing Editor
Nov 20, 2017 at 9:57 AM
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U.S. stocks are trading modestly higher this morning, as uncertainty remains over the GOP tax plan. Among the stocks making moves today are drug stock Acorda Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACOR), biotech company Shire PLC (NASDAQ:SHPG), and construction and engineering firm Dycom Industries, Inc. (NYSE:DY). Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of ACOR, SHPG, and DY.

ACOR Bounces After Halting Parkinson's Drug Development

Shares of Acorda Therapeutics are continuing to plummet after the company ended development on its Parkinson's disease drug, tozadenant, following patient deaths during clinical trials. On the heels of last week's dramatic bear gap, ACOR stock has erased premarket losses to trade up 3.7% at $18.45. 

The stock's reversal this morning could be the result of short sellers trying to lock in gains after last week's big drop in Acorda shares. Short interest on ACOR dropped 18% in the past two reporting periods, but still represents more than 14% of the stock's total available float. At Acorda stock's average daily trading volume, it would take almost 10 days for the shorts to cover their bearish bets.

Shire Slides on Roche's Upbeat Drug Data

Pharma stock Shire is moving lower, after its competitor Roche announced positive results from its Hemlibra hemophilia drug trial. SHPG is down 3.6% at $142.02 at last check, accelerating its latest pullback from its 80-day moving average -- which has acted as resistance since late June. Despite the stock's downtrend, analysts following SHPG stock are optimistic, with 11 out of 14 carrying "buy" or "strong buy" ratings. 

DY Gaps Higher on Surprise Earnings Report

Shares of Dycom Industries have been volatile this morning, after "unauthorized access" to the company's financial documents late Friday prompted an early earnings release. DY's fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue beat estimates, but the second-quarter forecast is well short of Wall Street's view. Despite the mixed bag of news, Dycom stock has managed to rally 5.9% at $95.38, with today's bull gap carrying the shares to their highest intraday level since May's bear gap.

It looks like DY today might be capitalizing on an unwinding of excessive bearish sentiment. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.06 ranks in the 90th percentile of its annual range. This indicates that short-term puts have rarely been more popular, relative to calls, in the past year. What's more, short interest accounts for nearly 17% of the stock's float.

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