Biogen Stock Waffles After Earnings

Recent BIIB options buyers may be kicking rocks today

Deputy Editor
Apr 24, 2019 at 9:58 AM
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Drugmaker Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts' expectations. The company cited strong growth from its spinal atrophy treatment, Spinraza, but sales of multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera fell short of estimates. As a result, BIIB shares started the session higher, but were last seen down 0.9% at $228.06. 

From a longer-term standpoint, Biogen stock has struggled since a March 21 bear gap, in which the equity lost 29.2% -- its biggest one-day drop since 2005. BIIB hit a two-year low of $216.12 shortly after. The stock's subsequent attempts at a rebound have stalled around the $240 level, and the equity's 20-day moving average has also emerged as a speed bump on the charts. 

The security's recent plummet has sent analysts to the sidelines. Currently, 16 of the 23 analysts following BIIB give it a tepid "hold" rating, while only six say "buy." The consensus 12-month price target of $261.19 represents a roughly 13% premium to current levels. 

In spite of BIIB's rough patch on the charts, options traders were placing bullish bets ahead of earnings. The equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.29 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) of 2.29 sits in the 91st percentile of its annual range. This indicates a healthier-than-usual appetite for long calls over puts of late. 

 

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