Analyst Notes Lift ARWR, DVAX Stocks; ESPR Jumps On Drug Data

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals just tapped a fresh high

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 27, 2018 at 2:03 PM

The Dow is holding higher this afternoon thanks to a strong move from GE stock. Three other names making notable moves today are drug stocks Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ARWR), and Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX). Here's what's moving shares of ESPR, ARWR, and DVAX.

ESPR Stock Jumps On Trial Results

Esperion Therapeutics stock is up 7% at $76.82, after the company said its experimental oral drug, bempedoic acid, in combination with Amgen's (AMGN) Repatha, met its primary goal for reducing cholesterol in a mid-stage study. Esperion is planning to submit a U.S. marketing application in the first quarter of 2019.

ESPR has been a huge winner over the past year, roughly doubling in value and hitting a two-year high of $82.68 in late February. This has resulted in a mostly bullish outlook from the brokerage bunch, with seven of 11 covering analysts handing out "strong buy" ratings.

Analyst: Buy ARWR Stock

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals stock is soaring today thanks to a new "buy" rating at Jefferies, which set a $10 price target -- the highest among all covering analysts and territory unexplored since December 2014. For what it's worth, Jefferies help managed the company's secondary public offering back in January.

Still, ARWR is trading up 9.2% at $7.58, earlier touching an annual high of $8.09 -- just shy of breakeven for a number of recent call buyers. The equity has notched ridiculous gains over the past year, as it was trading below $2 this time last year.

Short Sellers Up the Ante On Dynavax Stock

RBC Capital is calling for a breakout from DVAX stock, saying there's potential for the shares to rally as much as 30%, should the company present positive drug data on SD-101, its cancer treatment, at two healthcare conferences. The brokerage firm reiterated its "outperform" designation for Dynavax Technologies stock, and a $25 price target.

The shares have been trading in a fairly tight range since a late-July bull gap, with the $15-$16 level acting as support earlier this year. At last check, they were 5% higher at $20.15 -- set for their highest close of 2018.

Short sellers have been moving in, however, with the number of shorted shares jumping by 12.5% in the last two reporting periods. The 6.8 million shares now sold short equals nearly five times DVAX's average daily trading volume. That's plenty of fuel for a short squeeze, should the security extend its upward momentum.

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