Eli Lilly Stock Pops on Guidance

The company cited increased interest in some of its newer medications

Deputy Editor
Dec 19, 2018 at 10:42 AM
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Shares of Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) are up 3.2% to trade at $109.85, after the company issued 2019 guidance above analyst expectations. The pharmaceutical giant cited high demand for some of its newer medicines, and lifted its quarterly dividend by 15%.

LLY stock has remained relatively strong amid the broader stock market correction. The shares touched a record high of $119.80 earlier this month, but subsequently took a breather to test familiar support in the $105-$106 area. LLY remains nearly 30.1% higher year-to-date.

A round of upgrades could bode well for LLY, too, as five of 13 analysts maintain tepid "hold" or worse ratings. What's more, shares of LLY aren't far from hitting the consensus 12-month price target of $115 -- which sits at only a 4.6% premium to today's current levels. Price-target hikes could also lure more buyers to the table.

In the options pits, LLY's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.61 sits in the 98th percentile of its annual range, suggesting that options traders have rarely been more put-biased in the past 12 months. Should bears continue hit the exits, it could provide a tailwind for the pharma shares. 


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