3 Biotech Stocks Bucking the Broad-Market Surge

Celgene stock is lower on confirmation of another executive departure

by Patrick Martin

Published on May 21, 2018 at 3:05 PM

Stocks are soaring this afternoon, as traders cheer the alleviated trade war concerns between the U.S. and China. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, however, with biotechs Nabriva Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NBRV)Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:DOVA), and Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) all pointed lower. Here's a closer look at what has shares of NBRV, DOVA, and CELG moving today.

Pneumonia Drug Side Effects Dig Into Nabriva Stock

Nabriva Therapeutics stock is down 14.2% to trade at $4.63, one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today. In early morning trading, NBRV stock popped higher after the company said its pneumonia drug met the main goals in a late-stage study. However, the shares quickly reversed course after concerns arose over lefamulin's side effects. The stock is on track for its worst single-day performance since September, and has now shed nearly 23% in 2018. 

Analysts remain committed to the stock. All six of the brokerages in coverage rate NBRV a "strong buy." Furthermore, the equity's average 12-month price target of $17.50 is nearly four times its current perch. A round of downgrades or price-target cuts could weigh further on Nabriva shares.

Dova Stock Extends Losses Despite FDA Approval

Dova Pharmaceuticals stock is down 10% to trade at $25.06. The stock has explored  range of more than 5 points on both sides of breakeven today, and trading was halted earlier pending news regarding the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the company's blood disorder drug. DOVA stock initially turned higher once trading resumed, but surrendered those gains and is now on track for its worst daily loss ever. Since touching a record high of $37 on Feb. 20, the shares have given back nearly 32%, with their 50- and 80-day moving averages containing any breakouts. 

Although the security is currently on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list, shorts are likely cheering today's collapse. Roughly 30% of DOVA's total available float is sold short, representing 19.2 times the stock's average daily trading volume.

Executive Shake-Up Buries Celgene Stock

Earlier today, it was confirmed that Celgene's executive vice president and head of business development George Golumbeski left the company last month, marking the latest in a string of exec departures. RBC analysts believe the subsequent sell-off is unfounded, noting that Golumbeski had transitioned to a more strategic role. However, Celgene stock is down 4% to trade at $75.25 today, and earlier fell to a four-year low of $74.67. Overall, the shares have given back 28% in 2018. 

In the options pits, calls have remained popular. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows the security's 10-day call/put volume ratio at 3.63, ranking in the 91st percentile of its annual range. This suggests that calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past 10 days. 

Echoing this, CELG's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.53 ranks in the 1st percentile of its annual range. In other words, speculative players have rarely been more heavily skewed toward calls over puts, looking at options that expire in the next three months.


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