2 Pharma Stocks Soaring on Regulatory Wins

KMPH received two price-target hikes after an FDA nod

Managing Editor
Feb 26, 2018 at 10:29 AM
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Several pharmaceutical stocks have been making outsized moves in recent weeks. Today, KemPharm Inc (NASDAQ:KMPH) and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) stocks are in the spotlight, thanks to encouraging regulatory news. At last check, KMPH was trading 3.1% higher at $6.18, after jumping on Friday, and ACHN stock was up 10.5% to trade at $3.27.

Analysts React to KMPH FDA Approval

KemPharm late Friday said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its opioid painkiller Apadaz for short-term acute pain management. As such, the shares touched an almost two-year high of $7.15 during Friday's trading.

In response, the drug concern received two price-target raises -- to $11 from $7 at Canaccord Genuity, and to $12 from $9 at RBC. However, Cowen and Company cut its price target to $15 from $55.

Covering analysts were optimistic toward the drug stock ahead of the Apadaz news, with all three carrying "strong buy" recommendations. Looking broader, KMPH has had a respectable year on the charts, picking up over 120% in the past six months alone.

ACHN Higher on Positive EMA Panel News

Shares of ACHN are soaring today, after a European Medicines Agency (EMA) panel issued a positive orphan status view for the company's C3G kidney drug, ACH-4471. The penny stock hit a more than three-year low of $2.58 on Feb. 1, but is now pacing for its highest finish since late November, and a second close atop its 80-day moving average -- a feat not accomplished since October.

Short interest on the drugmaker picked up more than 17% over the past two reporting periods, and now represents 6.1% of the stock's total available float. At Achillion Pharma stock's average daily trading volume, it would take about four days for the shorts to cover their bearish bets -- which could translate into a short-covering tailwind.


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