3 Healthcare Stocks Getting Hammered

GEMP and ONCE are two of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today

Managing Editor
Aug 7, 2018 at 2:30 PM
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Stocks are vaulting higher today thanks to a fresh batch of corporate earnings. It's not all positive news, though, and stocks careening lower include biotech Gemphire Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GEMP), gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE), and medical device maker Orthofix Medical Inc (NASDAQ:OFIX). Here's a closer look at what's driving shares of GEMP, ONCE, and OFIX today.

FDA Request Sends GEMP Stock Reeling

At last check, Gemphire Therapeutics stock was down 52.9% to trade at $3.46, the second-worst stock on the Nasdaq today, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked for more safety data concerning the company's cholesterol drug, gemcabene. A hold is placed on any further studies until that data is provided. This is easily GEMP's worst day in history, and the stock earlier hit a new record low of $3.10. 

Despite the security's historical volatility, analysts remain committed to the drugmaker. All three of the brokerages covering GEMP rate it a "buy" or "strong buy," and its average 12-month price target of $26.50 is more than triple yesterday's closing perch of $7.34. However, Raymond James just downgraded the shares to "market perform" from "outperform."

Citi Still A Fan Of ONCE Stock Despite Subpar Earnings

Spark Therapeutics stock is down a 28% to trade at $55.85, also putting it near the bottom of the Nasdaq today, after the company announced lackluster trial data for the firm's hemophilia drug. In addition, the drug company reported a second-quarter earnings and revenue miss. Leerink responded by slashing its price target to $55 from $74, while Citi upgraded the equity to "buy" from "hold," finding positives from the hemophilia update. ONCE has now shed 73% since a July 9 all-time high of $96.59. 

Although the stock is on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list today, short sellers are likely cheering. The 5.34 million shares sold short represents 17% of ONCE's total available float, and 11.2 times the average daily trading volume.

OFIX Stock Tanks After Earnings, Slashed Guidance

Orthofix Medical stock is down 15.9% to trade at $52.01 after the company reported second-quarter revenue below analyst estimates, while also slashing its full-year guidance. Jefferies issued a price-target cut to $69 from $72 in response, and the stock is on track for its worst day since 2013. Nevertheless, OFIX scored a record high of $61.98 just yesterday, and still boasts a 16% lead year-over-year. Analysts are firmly entrenched in the bullish camp. All five of the brokerages covering OFIX rate it a "strong buy," while its average 12-month price target of $66.83 is a 29% premium to its current price.


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