Biogen Stock Hit With $100 Price-Target Cut After Ugly Q1

Most analysts are still bullish on the biotech stock, though

Josh Selway
Apr 5, 2018 at 10:05 AM
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Analysts have long been a fan of biotech stock Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB). Of the 23 brokerage firms that have coverage on BIIB, 16 say to buy it, and there are zero "sell" ratings. The equity also boasts a 12-month price target of $375.10, which represents a 37% premium to the Wednesday close of $272.40. But with the shares coming off an abysmal first quarter in which they shed almost 45% of their value, some may have guessed downgrades could be on the horizon, and sure enough Barclays this morning lowered its opinion on the neurological disease specialist.

Specifically, analyst Geoff Meacham downgraded the security to "equal weight" from "overweight" and slashed his price target to $295 from $395, citing a lack of near-term catalysts. Making this bear note even more troubling is the fact that Meacham actually waxed optimist on the broader biopharma sector, saying it won't be affected by trade war fears or the privacy issues that have hurt major tech stocks. He also noted strong first-quarter earnings out of biopharma stocks and the potential for M&A activity going forward.

Recent options traders will be hoping Biogen stock can shrug off this negative analyst attention. Call buying has more than doubled put buying during the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), and the front-month April 300 call saw the largest increase in open interest during this time. With data confirming buy-to-open activity here, many traders have been betting on BIIB shares rallying back above $300 in the coming weeks.

But so far today the equity is down 0.5% at $270.67. Technical traders may want to watch the $260 area closely, as this is roughly equal to a 23.6% Fibonacci retracement of the shares 2015 record high and their 2016 lows. This region has acted as a floor during the recent slide.

biib stock price


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