bluebird bio Ready to Rally on Regeneron Investment

BLUE and REGN are partnering on new cell therapies for cancer

Aug 6, 2018 at 9:16 AM
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Massachusetts-based biotech company bluebird bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) today announced a collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) to jointly develop new cell therapies for cancer. Under the terms of the partnership, Regeneron will invest $100 million in bluebird, or $238.10 per share -- 58.7% north of BLUE's Friday close at $150.

It hasn't been the best year for BLUE shares in 2018, as they've dropped 35.6% from their March 12 closing high of $233.05, and they enter today's trading down by nearly 16% year-to-date. In fact, BLUE's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) was resting at a near-oversold 34 by the end of last week.

That said, the stock is up 4.7% ahead of the bell, bouncing from a recent pullback to its 320-day moving average. And on a year-over-year basis, the equity has advanced 60%.

But given the stock's more recent technical troubles, it's no surprise to find that options players are favoring puts over calls. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.00 registers in the 91st percentile of its annual range, as speculative players have rarely been more put-skewed in the past year. And the front-month gamma-weighted SOIR, which narrows the focus to near-the-money strikes in the August series, checks in at a top-heavy 2.25.

BLUE remains heavily shorted, as well, with short interest accounting for 7.8% of the stock's float. That supply of bearish bets represents 4.9 times the equity's average daily trading volume, and a capitulation by some of the weaker shorts in light of today's news could help fuel upside for the stock.


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