Analysts Target Major Upside for Red-Hot Gene Therapy Stocks

Electric car stock Nio is also notably higher today

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 25, 2019 at 3:34 PM

Stocks are trading higher today as Wall Street reacts to positive U.S.-China trade news. Among individual names making notable moves are gene therapy specialists uniQure NV (NASDAQ:QURE) and Voyager Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VYGR), as well as China-based electric car concern Nio Inc (NASDAQ:NIO). Here's a quick roundup of what's moving the shares of QURE, VYGR, and NIO.

uniQure Stock Surge Crushes Shorts

The shares of uniQure are near the top of the Nasdaq today -- up 30% at $54.06, and fresh off a record high of $59.45 -- on tailwinds from Roche's $4.3 billion buyout of gene therapy name Spark Therapeutics (ONCE), with Bernstein noting the deal is favorable for the entire sector. Plus, Cantor Fitzgerald raised its QURE price target to $81 from $68, a nearly 95% premium to last Friday's close, saying uniQure could be the next M&A target among its peers.

Today's surge puts another nail in the coffin of short sellers. The 2.39 million QURE shares sold short represents 9.4% of the stock's available float, or 7.9 times the average daily pace of trading. As such, it's possible shorts are helping fuel today's upside, as bears rush to cover their positions on a security that's now up 89% year-to-date.

Analyst: VYGR Stock is "Signficantly Undervalued"

Sector tailwinds are also lifting Voyager Therapeutics stock, which was last seen 6.8% higher to trade at $14.01. Additionally, Canaccord Genuity reiterated its "buy" rating and $26 price target, nearly double last week's close at $13.12. The brokerage firm called VYGR stock "significantly undervalued," and waxed optimistic on Friday's news of an AbbVie (ABBV) Parkinson's disease treatment collaboration -- which sent the shares up 22.9%.

Most analysts echo Canaccord Genuity's bullish outlook on VYGR stock, with six of nine maintaining a "strong buy" rating, and not a single "sell" on the books. Plus, the average 12-month price target sits all the way up at $24.73. Looking ahead, Voyager Therapeutics is expected to report earnings tomorrow, Feb. 26.

Nio Stock Eyes 4th Straight Win After "60 Minutes" Episode

Nio stock is up 8.2% at $8.84, after the "Tesla Killer" was featured prominently in last night's "60 Minutes" feature, "China's Drive to Dominate the Electric Car Industry." Today's gap has the shares slicing through long-term resistance in the $8.00-$8.50 region, and pacing for their fourth straight day of gains. The equity is now up 38.5% year-to-date, and 41.4% above its early September initial public offering price of $6.25.

Options traders are blasting the stock today, too, with 126,424 calls and 44,325 puts on the tape so far -- a new record high. The March 9 call is most active, with 32,506 contracts traded. New positions are being initiated here, though it's not clear whether they're being bought or sold. This contract also saw the biggest increase in open interest from Friday's trading, with nearly 10,650 positions initiated.


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