Drugmaker Jumps on FDA Decision; Caesars In M&A Spotlight

CZR has been a favorite target of options traders in recent weeks

Oct 17, 2018 at 2:51 PM
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Stocks are trading lower today, pulling back some from yesterday's impressive rally. Meanwhile, casino concern Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR) and biopharma name Axsome Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AXSM) are trading higher, while construction stock Installed Building Products Inc (NYSE:IBP) sinks. Let's look closer to see what's moving shares of CZR, AXSM, and IBP.

CZR Pops on M&A Rumors

CZR shares have rallied 14.4% to trade at $10.40, following a Reuters story saying the company was approached by Golden Nugget Casinos owner Tilman Fertitta about a potential merger. The stock has struggled this year, down almost 20% year-to-date, and today's upside was capped near its 160-day moving average.

Call buyers have been targeting Caesars for weeks. For example, more than 141,000 call options were bought to open during the past 50 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to fewer than 30,000 puts.

AXSM Stock Jumps After FDA Decision

AXSM stock is getting a boost after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the company's narcolepsy treatment an orphan drug designation. The shares were last seen trading up 11% at $3.91, nearing the site of their massive January bear gap, while also pushing past their 320-day moving average. While there's only a handful of analysts covering Axsome Therapeutics, they're extremely bullish. This is based on the fact that the average 12-month price target stands up at $20.

IBP Could Suffer More Bear Notes

IBP hit a nearly two-year low earlier of $32.55, and was last seen down 8.2% at $33.39. Prompting the selling was a downgrade to "neutral" from "outperform" at Credit Suisse, which also lowered its price target to $40 from $50. The shares have been crushed in 2018, down 56.5% year-to-date. This all follows a price-target cut to $59 out of Jefferies on Monday. Going forward, we could see more bearish analyst attention on Installed Building Products, since six of nine brokerage firms have "strong buy" ratings right now.

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