Analyst: Teva Pharmaceutical Stock is "Too Cheap to Ignore"

TEVA has had only two negative closes so far in 2019

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jan 23, 2019 at 10:08 AM

The shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA) are up 2.3% to trade at $19.19 this morning, after UBS raised its outlook on the drugmaker to "buy" from "neutral," while upping its price target to $24 from $23. The analyst in coverage called the stock "too cheap to ignore," and lauded the company's upcoming new launches.  

It's been quite the hot start for TEVA in the new year, finishing lower in only two sessions in 2019. Since it's Christmas Eve bottom at $14.59, the stock has added 32%. And should today's positive price action continue through the close, it would mark the shares first time settling above their 50-day moving average since Nov. 16. 

More bullish brokerage attention could be on the way. At last night's close, 14 of the 16 brokerages in coverage rate TEVA a "hold" or "strong sell." Further, its consensus 12-month price target of $22.47 sits just below the security's current perch. 

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 1.23, ranking in the 75th percentile of its annual range. In other words, puts have been purchased over calls at a faster-than-usual clip of late.

Digging deeper, the March 17 put has seen one of the largest increases in open interest during this time frame. It appears most of the activity here is of the buy-to-open kind, indicating options traders are betting on a pullback from TEVA in the coming months. 

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