Jefferies Makes Another Bullish Healthcare Call

MNOV is another name from the healthcare sector to watch today

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 29, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Brokerage firm Jefferies has been weighing in on a number of healthcare stocks this week, predicting big upside for AnaptysBio (ANAB) and Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR). This morning, the firm turned its attention to Miragen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:MGEN), initiating coverage with a "buy" rating and $14 price target -- well above the shares' Wednesday settlement at $6.82. The covering analyst suggested data from upcoming drug trials could push MGEN stock higher from its seemingly cheap valuation. At last check, the shares are up 3.1% to trade at $7.03.

Interestingly, this bullish attention is nothing new for the drugmaker. In fact, all six brokerage firms in coverage have "strong buy" recommendations, and the average 12-month price target is a very elevated $17.93 -- territory not charted since last March.

Looking back, the shares haven't done much to earn this bullish bias. They're down 40.8% over the past year, and a breakout attempt back in December and January was quickly thwarted by the 200-day moving average.

Taking a quick look at another big healthcare mover this morning, MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) is trading down 12% at $10.51, following disappointing mid-stage trial results for the company's methamphetamine dependence treatment -- its lead drug candidate. MNOV has fallen below the 50-day moving average for the first time since the start of the year, but remains up more than 62% year-to-date.

Many people are betting against the drugmaker, though. Short interest increased 16.5% in the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for more than 10% of the equity's float. Going by average daily volumes, it'd take short sellers more than two weeks to buy back their positions. The shares are short-sale restricted today, however.


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