2 Healthcare Stocks Lower After Bear Notes

Both ATHN and BIIB have struggled in recent months

Managing Editor
Nov 27, 2018 at 10:03 AM
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This morning, two names in the healthcare sector are lower after receiving some bearish analyst attention. For starters, athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN) is down 0.3% to trade at $132.25, after Wells Fargo downgraded the IT services specialist to "market perform" from "outperform," while slashing its price target to $135 from $185. -- the per-share buyout bid put forth by Veritas Capital and Elliott Management earlier this month. The brokerage firm believes the deal will go through, but cautioned investors against near-term risk if it doesn't get approved.

On the charts, athenahealth stock gapped lower back in September, culminating in an annual low of $116.77 on Oct. 12. The shares rallied back in November to trade above the $132 level. Longer term, the security is still shade below its year-to-date breakeven level. 

Elsewhere, Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) stock is down 0.7% to trade at $317.22, after RBC trimmed its price target to $338 from $364. The shares have shed 10% this quarter and are now in the red year-to-date, but continue to near a key technical level.

In BIIB's options pits, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows the stock with a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.84, which ranks 4 percentage points from an annual high. This means that puts have been bought to open over calls at a quicker-than-usual clip, albeit amid relatively light absolute volume.

Echoing this, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) stands at 1.47, which arrives in the 97th percentile of its annual range. In other words, speculators are more put-skewed than normal among options set to expire within three months. 

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