Analyst: This Mid-Cap Drug Stock Will Benefit From Tax Reform

It's been another notable session for bitcoin winner RIOT stock

Dec 19, 2017 at 2:37 PM
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Stocks are taking a breather, as investors await a vote on the GOP's tax bill. Among the names making big moves are blockchain investor Riot Blockchain Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT), medical device stock Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc (NYSE:ZBH), and drugmaker Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:PTLA). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of RIOT, ZBH, and PTLA.

RIOT Stock Makes Another Big Move

One of the biggest bitcoin winners, Riot Blockchain is up 9.1% today to trade at $39.78, after the company announced a private stock offering of $37 million. Meanwhile, Citron Research said it's shorting the stock, which has rallied 765% since the end of September. Plus, U.S. regulators just halted a small-cap stock that's rallied amid the bitcoin buzz. RIOT stock earlier peaked at a six-year high of $46.20.

Not surprisingly, options trading has been crazy on the security. As it stands now, open interest is at a 52-week high of 60,801 contracts, and today, options volume on Riot Blockchain is running at more than triple the average daily volume.

CEO Pick Results In Bull Notes for ZBH Stock

Zimmer Biomet is the top S&P 500 Index (SPX) stock today, last seen trading 6.5% higher at $121.89, after the company announced Bryan Hanson as its new CEO. ZBH shares have filled their early November bear gap, overcoming resistance at the 50-day moving average in the process -- though they're still well off their July 17 record high of $133.49.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo upgraded the security to "outperform" from "market perform" and increased its price target to $140 from $123. Deutsche Bank also raised its outlook, lifting its price target to $138 from $128. Most analysts are already bullish on the medical device concern, with 15 of 22 issuing a "strong buy" recommendation.

FDA News, Analyst Nod Lift PTLA Shares

Portola Pharmaceuticals revealed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Prior Approval Supplement (PAS) for Bevyxxa, a treatment for blood disorders. Plus, Credit Suisse named PTLA stock as a mid-cap name to watch after tax reform, which could result in increased M&A activity within the pharmaceutical sector. The shares were last seen trading up 7.9% at $51.36, though they are again struggling at the 80-day moving average, a trendline that's acted as resistance since mid-September.

Options volume has been light on an absolute basis, but the trading that has taken place seems to show hope for a breakout from the equity. Specifically, the drug stock has seen more than 900 calls bought to open during the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to just 164 puts.

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