2 Drug Stocks Moving on FDA News

The FDA found 'minor deficiencies' in Mylan's generic Advair

Managing Editor
Jun 14, 2018 at 2:58 PM
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Stocks are trading mixed this afternoon, with the Nasdaq just off a fresh record high. Individual stocks making big moves today include music streaming service Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), as well as drug concerns Nightstar Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:NITE) and Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL). Below, we will take a closer look at how shares of P, NITE, and MYL are trading on the charts.

Pandora Media Stock Higher on Snap Partnership

Shares of Pandora are up 3.8% at $8.05, after the music concern announced its partnership with Snap (SNAP) to create Snap Kit, a new platform for developers. The partnership "will expand Pandora's social sharing capabilities by reaching Snapchat's massive audience," the company said in a statement. P stock has gained nearly 55% in the past three months -- mostly due to an early May bull gap -- and is now set for its highest close since October.

Heading into today, options traders were leaning bullishly toward the stock. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows P with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 6.06, in the 73rd annual percentile. This ratio suggests Pandora calls have been purchased over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

P stock has also been heavily shorted, currently accounting for more than 32% of the stock's total available float. And although short interest fell 15.2% during the past two reporting periods, it would still take about a week for shorts to cover their bearish bets. Perhaps some of the recent call buying is attributable to Pandora shorts seeking an options hedge.

Gene Therapy Stock Soaring on FDA Nod

NITE stock is up 21% at $17, at last check -- set for its best day ever -- after the company received a nod from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Specifically, the FDA granted Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) status for Nightstar's choroideremia treatment, NSR-REP1.

Ahead of the approval, the drug stock had been on a sideways trend, bumping up against resistance in the $15 area, but is now up 30% year-to-date. Wall Street apparently never lost faith; all six analysts following NITE stock sport "strong buy" recommendations. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $28.50 is roughly double yesterday's close.

MYL Shares Plunge on Advair 'Deficiencies'

MYL stock is lower in afternoon trading, after the FDA said it found "minor deficiencies" in the company's generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) Advair. As such, the FDA declined to approve the inhaled lung drug for a second time, with analysts at Raymond James stating the generic now likely won't be approved until "late 2018 and more likely 2019." The critique has Mylan shares down 6.6% at $38.92, at last check, and set to finish back below the 200-day moving average.

Ahead of the fall, however, near-term options traders appeared upbeat. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) is 0.39, and currently sits down in the 28th annual percentile. In other words, MYL speculators targeting option contracts expiring within three months are unusually call-skewed at the moment.

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