One Defense Stock Boosted By Nixed North Korea Summit

One analyst thinks Marinus stock could triple

Managing Editor
May 24, 2018 at 2:26 PM
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The stock market is careening lower this afternoon, as traders digest President Donald Trump's cancelled North Korean nuclear summit. Among individual stock movers today, drone maker AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) and drugmaker Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MRNS) are pointed higher, while biotech name Recro Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:REPH) is crumbling. Here's a closer look at how the shares of AVAV, MRNS, and REPH are trading today.

AeroVironment Stock Could Send Shorts Scurrying

Defense stocks are one of the few winners from Trump's surprising cancellation of the North Korean nuclear summit. At last check, AeroVironment stock was up 3.2% to trade at $58.44. AVAV shares pulled back after flying to a record high of $62.19 on May 9, but the dip was contained by their 40-day moving average. Further, the security has found support in the $53 region since an April bull gap, which stemmed from a fresh "buy" rating at Stifel. 

The defense stock is ripe for a short squeeze. Short interest increased by nearly 11% in the last two reporting periods, to 2.31 million shares, the most since June. This represents 11% of the security's total available float, and almost 12 days of pent-up buying demand, at the security's average trading volume.

Analyst: Marinus Stock Could Triple

Marinus Pharmaceuticals stock is up 6.3% to trade at $5.56, after Baird initiated coverage on the drugmaker with an "outperform" rating and $15 price target -- territory not seen since August 2015, and nearly three times MRNS stock's close yesterday. The analyst in coverage believes the company's upcoming trials for its postpartum depression treatment have potential. MRNS stock has already added 360% in the past year, and is on track to close above its 100-day moving average for the first time since early-February.

A short squeeze could be helping drive Marinus higher. Short interest fell 12% in the most recent reporting period, yet the 2.34 million shares sold short still represent a healthy 9% of MRNS' total available float. At the security's average pace of trading, it would take traders six days to buy back their positions.

Plunging Recro Stock Vulnerable to Downgrades

Recro Pharma stock is down a whopping 54% to trade at $5.67 -- the worst stock on the Nasdaq today -- after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected the company's non-opoid injection for pain relief. Recro will meet with the FDA to discuss the next steps. REPH stock earlier today fell to a three-year low of $5, and is on track to easily post its worst single-day loss in history. 

Prior to today, the biotech stock was flirting with multi-year highs, peaking at $13.05 yesterday. As such, all four of the brokerages covering REPH rate it a "strong buy," and the stock's average 12-month price target sits at $15.65 -- almost triple the stock's current perch. A round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts could send the security even lower.

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