3 Biotech Stocks Surging Today

Omeros stock is ripe for a short squeeze

by Patrick Martin

Published on May 11, 2018 at 2:48 PM

Stocks are mostly higher today, with the Dow heading towards its seventh straight win. President Trump spoke at 2 p.m. ET today regarding drug prices, revealing a plan to lower prescription costs. Drug stocks Akcea Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKCA), Zymeworks Inc (NASDAQ:ZYME), and Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER) are all specific names that are enjoying a boost. Here's a closer look at what has shares of AKCA, ZYME, and OMER moving today.

FDA Panel Nod Boosts Akcea Stock

Akcea Therapeutics stock is up 12.9% to trade at $23.33, after receiving a nod from a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel for its rare genetic disease treatment. The FDA itself  will make a final decision on the drug by Aug. 30. As a result, Wells Fargo upgraded AKCA to "outperform" from "market perform." It also issued a price-target hike to $33 from $30, though Stifel cut its target to $25 from $30 before the news.

AKCA stock gapped lower earlier this week, amid concerns the FDA panel wouldn't support the treatment. The shares have since filled that gap and then some, and are now trading about three times their July 2017 initial public offering (IPO) price of $8. The security has now added 35% in 2018, yet remains far off its March 21 record high of $33.98. Analysts remain split, with half of the brokerages covering AKCA rating it a tepid "hold." 

Zymeworks Stock Receives Bullish Analyst Attention

Zymeworks stock is up 8.6% to trade at $15.79, after Barclays upgraded the biotech name to "equal weight" from "underweight," while nearly doubling its price target to $15 from $8. The analyst in coverage believes its breast cancer combo therapies "hold some promise."

On the charts, ZYME shares have more than doubled in the past six months, and have been guided higher by their ascending 60-day moving average. Not surprisingly then, short sellers have been fleeing the scene in droves. Short interest fell by 30% in the two most recent reporting periods, and now sits at a record low. 

Omeros Stock Higher After Upbeat Earnings

Omeros stock is up 22.8% to trade at $19.81 -- one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today -- thanks to a well-received earnings report. Since falling to an annual low of $8.36 on March 2, OMER has more than doubled, and is set to top its 200-day moving average for the first time since January.

The security is ripe for a short squeeze as well. Short interest increased by 10% in the most recent reporting period, and the 10.56 million shares sold short represent a whopping 23% of OMER's total available float. At the stock's average daily trading volume, it would take more than two weeks for shorts to buy back their positions.


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