Citigroup: 'Buy' This Pharma Stock

Options traders are still skeptical of rallying TEVA stock

Managing Editor
Jan 4, 2018 at 10:22 AM
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Drug concern Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA) stock is on the rise, after receiving an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" from brokerage firm Citigroup. TEVA stock also scored a price-target hike to $24 from $16 -- a 50% increase -- as analysts continue to wax optimistic on Teva's job cuts and and dividend suspension plans. In notes to clients, Citigroup said it prefers "to move off the sidelines," citing "little risk to execution on the cost-cutting initiative."

Teva Pharmaceutical stock is up 1.2% at $19.36 in early trading, and has rallied more than 78% since its early November lows. The security's 10-day moving average has provided support over the past couple of months, and TEVA shares are now approaching the $20 area that stifled upside momentum in September.

In the options pits, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows TEVA's 10-day put/call volume ratio at 1.00, ranking in the 71st percentile of the stock's annual range. This suggests puts have been bought over calls at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks, even as Teva stock has rallied.

Echoing this, there's still plenty of room on the bullish bandwagon. Just three analysts deem TEVA worthy of a "buy" or better rating, compared to 16 "holds" and four "sell" or worse ratings.

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