Impressive NASH Drug Data Sends Pharma Stock Up Again

Options bulls are ramping up amid HIBB's recent slump

by Lillian Currens

Published on Jun 17, 2019 at 2:22 PM

Markets are higher this afternoon on gains from tech giants Apple (AAPL) and Cisco Systems (CSCO). Several other stocks are making notable moves today, too, including fellow blue chip Dow Inc (NYSE:DOW), sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports, Inc. (NASDAQ:HIBB), and drug name ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CTRV). Here's what's moving the shares of DOW, HIBB, and CTRV. 

Dow Stock Suffers on BMO Bear Note

Dow stock is at the bottom of the blue chips today, after BMO downgraded it to "market perform" from "outperform," and slashed its target price to $52 from $58. The analyst said global trade uncertainty has created a more challenging environment for the chemical company. The stock is down 3.3% at $49.45 -- trading back below its 10-day moving average for the first time since bottoming out in early June. 

There's definitely room for other analysts to follow suit, with a whopping nine "strong buy" ratings on the table, compared to just six "holds." What's more, the consensus 12-month target price of $60.90 is a 23.6% premium to current levels, and sits just above the security's all-time high from early April. 

Options Traders Flock to HIBB Stock

After a brief pop back atop its 10-day moving average last Friday, athletic retail concern HIBB is back beneath this trendline, down 8.3% at $20.19, after the firm said it was delaying its quarterly regulatory filing due to its new accounting standards. Even with today's drop, the equity is still up 41% year-to-date, thanks in part to two massive bull gaps in the past several months. 

The stock's plummet has options traders coming out of the woodwork. While total volume is relatively light, the 943 calls that have crossed the tape thus far represents more than seven times what's typically seen at this point. The June 20 call is by far the most popular. Those buying to open the calls are betting on a turnaround for the stock before the contract's expiration this Friday, June 21.   

CTRV Stock Skyrockets On Drug Data

Pharma stock CTRV is surging yet again, after the company revealed positive results for its nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) drug, CRV431. The stock is near the top of the Nasdaq after data showed the treatment was overwhelmingly successful in preventing fibrosis in the human liver slice cultures that were studied. The equity briefly overtook the $16 region earlier today -- an area the stock hasn't hit since mid-April -- and was trading up 26.7% at $11.26, at last check. 

Even more impressive, the security managed to touch its 120-day moving average earlier for the first time in over a year. While CTRV continues to trade well below its year-to-date breakeven -- approximately 44% lower, in fact -- it's managed to stage an impressive 134% rebound off its all-time low of $4.80 from earlier this month, with recent support atop its 10-day moving average. 


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