Analysts Expect This Drug Stock to Triple

Celgene stock has had a rough few months

Dec 22, 2017 at 1:37 PM
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Stocks are trading lower ahead of the long holiday weekend. Among the names making the biggest moves are Dow component UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), as well as drug stocks Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) and La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (NASDAQ:LJPC). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of UNH, CELG, and LJPC.

UNH Stock Breaches 20-Day On M&A News

UnitedHealth stock is down 1% today at $219.40, after the company unveiled plans to buy Chile-based Empresas Banmédica for $2.8 billion. The shares still sport a year-over-year lead of 35.8%, though they're set to close sharply below the formerly supportive 20-day moving average.

Interestingly, options traders have been very bearish. This is according to UNH's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.86 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Not only does this mean put buying has almost quadrupled call buying over the past two weeks, but it ranks just 5 percentage points from a bearish extreme.

CELG Shares Pressured Yet Again

Celgene stock has dropped 2.5% to trade at $105.23, after the company announced its regime for non-Hodgkin follicular lymphoma failed to outperform traditional chemotherapy in a clinical trial. Deutsche Bank responded with a price-target cut to $110 from $114, while Credit Suisse slashed its CELG target to $123 from $128. Suffice it to say, it's been a dreadful few months for CELG shares, considering they hit a record high of $147.17 on Oct. 2.

There's plenty of room for more bearish analyst attention, too. Specifically, 18 brokerage firms covering the stock say it's a "strong buy." If some of these optimists lower their expectations, it could result in more headwinds.

LJPC Stock Jumps on FDA Approval

Shares of La Jolla Pharmaceutical have jumped 12.9% to trade at $31.91, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its blood pressure drug, Giapreza. H.C. Wainwright sees plenty more upside ahead, too, as it lifted its price target to $91 from $62 -- just one day after initiating coverage -- a 185% premium to current levels. LJPC is pacing for its fifth straight win after bottoming below $23 on Dec. 15, but is having troubling overtaking the 50-day moving average.

This is obviously putting pressure on short sellers, who are in control of 3.6 million shares. Based on average daily trading volumes, it'd take these bears 23 days to cover their positions -- suggesting there's buying power on the sideline that could come in and help La Jolla climb higher.

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