Gilead Sciences Earnings Beat Overshadowed by CEO, Chairman Exits

Analysts have been optimistic toward GILD

Managing Editor
Jul 26, 2018 at 9:53 AM
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Shares of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) are lower in early trading after the company last night announced that both CEO John Milligan and Chairman John Martin will step down by year's end. On top of this news, Gilead also reported a second-quarter earnings beat. At last check, GILD is down 2.6% at $76.86. 

Following this slew of news, the stock has received one downgrade and three price-target hikes. Most notably, the singular downgrade came from Baird, to "neutral" from "outperform," while RBC raised its price target to $90 from $87. Longer term, GILD has been moving higher following its early May lows near $64, recently breaking back above the 200-day moving average, putting its year-to-date gain to healthy 7.7%.

Analyst attention has mostly been positive for the stock, as 14 of the 21 in coverage are optimistic, sporting "buy" or "strong buy" recommendations. Echoing this sentiment, Gilead stock's average 12-month price target of $87.04 stands at a premium to current trading levels.

Digging into options data, Gilead Sciences stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at 4.08, ranking in the 85th annual percentile. This lofty ratio indicates that calls have been purchased over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks of trading.

Lastly, GILD's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) comes in at 83 out of a possible 100. This indicates that the stock has tended to make outsized moves relative to what the options market has priced in over the past year. This could be a boon to those buying premium on the pharma stock.

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