3 Healthcare Stocks Making Huge Gains Today

Evolus' rival Botox treatment got an FDA nod, while Glaukos stock is higher on a rival's recall

by Patrick Martin

Published on Aug 29, 2018 at 3:22 PM

Stocks are a pushing higher today, as the tech sector drives the Nasdaq to record heights. Looking at individual stocks, shares of medical device maker Glaukos Corp (NYSE:GKOS) are vaulting higher, as are biotech stocks Evolus Inc (NASDAQ:EOLS), and Opiant Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:OPNT). Here's a closer look at what's moving shares of GKOS, EOLS, and OPNT.

Upgrade and Lofty PT Also Fueling GKOS 

Sitting on top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Glaukos stock, up 34.8% to trade at $60.34, and earlier flying to a record high of $70.91. Behind today's burst is the recall of a rival's glaucoma device on data that it may cause eye damage. Novartis' Alcon unit is also advising surgeons to stop implanting the stents immediately. In response, J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded shares of Glaukos -- which makes the iStent -- to "overweight" from "neutral," and hiked its price target to $75 from $42.

It's shaping up to be GKOS stock's best day ever by a wide margin. Prior to today's surge, GKOS had been turned away at the $45 level all summer, but had roughly doubled off its mid-December lows near $23. 

A short squeeze could keep the wind at GKOS' back. Short interest increased by 3.5% in the most recent reporting period, and the 5.26 million shares sold short represents nearly 16% of the security's total available float, and more than 11 days of pent-up buying power.

Evolus' Rival Botox Treatment Scores FDA Nod

Evolus stock is up 18.6% to trade at $24 -- double its February initial public offering (IPO) price -- after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted the company's resubmitted marketing application for its rival Botox drug. The FDA had declined to approve the drug back in May, though DWP-450 recently received approval from Canadian regulators.The FDA is expected to announce a decision by early February.

EOLS stock is on track to close above its 40-day moving average for the first time since mid-July. However, the security has a ways to go before approaching its June 7 record peak of $39.50.

Emergent Deal Has OPNT Stock Soaring

Opiant Pharmaceuticals stock is up a whopping 47.6% to trade at $23.13, the best stock on the Nasdaq today, on plans for the company's commercial partner, Adapt Pharma, to be bought by Emergent BioSolutions (EBS). Adapt makes Narcan, a needle-free emergency opioid overdose treatment, and Opiant collected $11.7 million in royalties in 2017 thanks to Narcan sales. An analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald noted the deal "underscores the opioid overdose market potential,"and reiterated an "overweight" rating on OPNT.

Opiant stock is now trading above its year-to-date breakeven level, and is on track to close above its 200-day moving average for the first time since March. Prior to today, OPNT shares had spent the past few months unsuccessfully battling resistance in the $17-$18 range. 


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