BofA-Merill Lynch: Worst is Behind This Mining Stock

DVAX is lower on restructuring news, while VALE is enjoying an analyst boost

by Emma Duncan

Published on May 24, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Despite disappointing durable goods data, stocks are trading higher this afternoon, as investors focus on President Donald Trump's recent comments on U.S.-China trade. A pair of stocks on the move today are vaccine maker Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) and mining name Vale SA (NYSE:VALE). Below, we will dive into what is moving the shares of DVAX and VALE.

Dynavax Stock Sinks to New Lows

Dynavax stock has gapped 17% lower to $5.27, and earlier touched a two-year low of $5.25, after the company shared that CEO Eddie Gray is retiring. In addition, the firm said it's restructuring to focus on its vaccine business, and will be eliminating about 37% of its current U.S. workforce. DVAX has surrendered more than 60% in the past year, and has surrendered more than 30% so far in 2019.

Cantor Fitzgerald and RBC were quick to react, the former removing its position on Dynavax stock entirely, saying its "overweight" rating and price target are "no longer in effect" in the wake of the pharma concern's restructuring plans. Meanwhile, RBC lowered its price target to $13 from $19. Several more analysts could follow suit; all five analysts following DVAX consider it a "buy" or better.

While the equity is on the short-sale restricted list today, several shorts are likely cheering the bear gap. Short interest accounts for nearly 29% of the stock's total available float, meaning it would take a whopping four weeks for short sellers to buy back their bearish bets, at DVAX's average pace of trading. However, it's unlikely the bears will jump ship anytime soon, considering the stock's trajectory over the past 12 months.

Vale Stock Edges Higher on "Buy" Rating

A fresh upgrade to "buy" from "neutral," and price-target hike to $15.50 from $14.50, from BofA-Merill Lynch has VALE surging 2.6% to trade at $12.10 this afternoon. The brokerage firm said "much of the worst news is behind" Vale, with "several catalysts ahead." Further, it thinks "Brazil politicians ultimately are keen to restore lost tax revenue."

VALE stock has struggled since its most recent rejection in the $13.80 neighborhood in April. However, the stock is on pace for a fourth straight day in the black, and is set to close above its 10-day moving average for only the second time in just over a month.

Contrary to BofA's bull note, analyst sentiment was quite bearish coming into today. Ten of the 11 analysts following Vale stock sport a tepid "hold" or worse rating, leaving one "buy" on the books. The security's average 12-month price target of $14.55 does, however, stand at a 20% premium to current levels.

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