Payments Stock Spirals Lower on New Sell Rating

GLPG got a massive price-target hike -- and hit a new high -- ahead of Thursday's earnings

by Lillian Currens

Published on Jul 22, 2019 at 3:12 PM

Stocks are mixed at midday, but little changed overall as investors anticipate a few big names in the earnings confessional later this week. Three stocks on Wall Street's radar today are biotech name Amgen Inc (NASDAQ:AMGN) and e-payment concern Paysign Inc (NASDAQ:PAYS), and biopharma issue Galapagos NV (NASDAQ:GLPG). Here's a look at what's moving AMGN, PAYS, and GLPG today. 

AMGN Stock Slides After Credit Suisse Price-Target Cut

Biotech stock Amgen is down 1.1% at $176.48 after Credit Suisse slashed its target price to $202 from $208 this morning. The equity is now down 8.4% year-to-date, with its last two attempts to rally capped by its 100-day and 200-day moving averages. 

Considering this, AMGN is ripe for more downgrades, which could push the stock even lower, should more members of the brokerage bunch follow suit. Right now, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $204.43 is at a solid 15.8% premium to current levels, and lies in territory Amgen hasn't touched since January. And while the majority of the 18 analysts in coverage call the security a "hold," eight still consider it a "buy" or better. 

PAYS Stock Takes a Nosedive After Friday's Fresh Highs

Paysign stock on Friday hit a new all-time intraday high of $18.67 before eventually finishing the day in the red. The equity is adding to these losses today, down 18.4% at $14.29 after BTIG downgraded the stock to "sell" from "neutral." The analyst said PAYS' valuation was stretched, and cited its Paysign Premier card's failure to gain traction. The analyst held its $12 price target steady -- roughly a 16% discount to current levels.

While the big percentage slide has PAYS on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list for today, bears are likely cheering this sharp plummet. Despite the equity's year-to-date gain of 397% through last Friday's close, short interest on the stock surged 177.9% in the past two reporting periods to account for 10.6% of the stock's available float. 

Galapagos Hits New High on Hefty Price-Target Hike

SVB Leerink just lifted its price target on Belgian biotech company Galapagos to $200 from $150, based on the firm's recent $5.1 billion investment from partner Gilead Sciences (GILD). The analyst also said GLPG's rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease treatment, filgotinib, is "a likely winner" over competitors thanks to its favorable safety profile. GLPG hit a record high of $191.63 earlier and is now trading up 2.8% at $188.49. 

Looking ahead, GLPG is expected to report second-quarter earnings after the close this Thursday, July 25. The options market is pricing in a single-day post-earnings move of 7.1% for the stock -- quite a bit steeper than its average post-earnings day return of 1.8%, regardless of direction, over the past seven quarters.

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