Morgan Stanley Sees 20% Upside for This Drug Stock

Teva last week waxed optimistic on Ajovy, its migraine treatment

Managing Editor
Nov 5, 2018 at 10:31 AM
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Shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA) are up 1% at $22.82 in early trading, after Morgan Stanley upgraded the drug name to "overweight" from "equal weight," and hiked its price target to $27 from $20 -- representing nearly 20% upside to Friday's close of $22.59. The bull note comes just days after the company's impressive beat-and-raise, in which it waxed optimistic on the prospects of its migraine drug, Ajovy.

Looking broader, TEVA has been in a channel of lower highs and lows since peaking at $25.96 in mid-August. Just last month the security suffered a blow after its aforementioned migraine drug was excluded from coverage at Express Scripts (ESRX), but the shares have rebounded roughly 19% since its subsequent Oct. 29 low of $19.31. Plus, the pharma name has nearly doubled year-over-year, and is on pace for its third straight close above its 50-day moving average.

Digging deeper, options traders have been leaning bearishly in recent weeks. This is per data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which shows Teva Pharmaceutical stock with a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.45, ranking in the 89th percentile of its annual range. In other words, puts have been purchased over calls at a faster-than-usual clip of late.

Worth noting, however, is TEVA's lofty Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) of 87 out of 100. This means now may be a good time for those looking to speculate on the drug stock to do so with options, as the equity has handily exceeded options traders' volatility expectations during the past year. 


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