2 Stocks Stumbling After Drug Data Updates

Susquehanna, on the other hand, thinks the worst is behind Nutanix stock

by Lillian Currens

Published on Sep 9, 2019 at 1:47 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Stocks are kicking the week off with modest gains, as investors continue to monitor developments between the U.S. and China. Three stocks making big moves are drug names Neurotrope Inc (NASDAQ:NTRP) and Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN), as well as cloud technology issue Nutanix Inc (NASDAQ:NTNX). Below, we'll take a look at what's driving the shares of NTRP, AMGN, and NTNX. 

NTRP Stock Hits Record Low on Disappointing Alzheimer's Study 

The shares of Neurotrope hit a record low of $0.81 earlier today, after a phase 2 study of its Bryostatin-1 treatment did not show any significant improvement in patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's. The stock has tumbled to the bottom of the Nasdaq, now down 79.7% at $0.89.

This would be good news for short sellers, considering the 85.7% surge in short interest during the last two reporting periods, with the 870,000 shares sold short equaling 11% of the stock's available float, or over nine days at the equity's average clip. However, NTRP just landed itself on the short-sell restricted (SSR) list. 

This hasn't stopped options bears from piling on the drugmaker, though. The normally quiet options pits have seen 3,682 puts cross the tape so far -- 10 times the intraday average -- compared to 1,372 calls. The most popular position is the September 2.50 put, where most contracts are being bought. 

Analysts Question AMGN's Latest Lung Cancer Study

AMGN stock, which just recently hit an all-time high of $211.90 on Aug. 13, is stumbling today, after presenting the latest data for its experimental drug AMG510 in patients with lung cancer. While the early stage trial was promising, analysts appear wary. William Blair, Piper Jaffray, Cowen, and Jefferies questioned the results, with more than one of the firms suggesting it's too early for definitive takeaways. 

All four of these brokerage firms maintained their ratings, however, with a surprising number of those in coverage exercising caution with AMGN, considering its recent peak. Eleven members of the brokerage bunch have slapped the equity with a tepid "hold" rating, compared to only six "strong buy" ratings. Plus, its 12-month consensus price target of $214.84 is at a relatively slim 7.3% premium to current levels. At last check, AMGN is down 3.5% to trade at $200.36, set for its first close below its 20-day moving average since late July. 

Nutanix Stock Bounces After Double Upgrade

The shares of software name Nutanix are up 7.2% at $25.69 after Susquehanna upgraded its rating to "positive" from "negative," and lifted its target price to $45 from $23. The analyst said the company's new subscription model looks promising, adding "the worst is behind NTNX." 

This upgrade comes just a few weeks after NTNX bottomed out at a two-year low of $17.74 on Aug. 16. The security has rallied hard off this low however, in part thanks to a post-earnings bull gap the stock enjoyed last week. Now the shares are almost 45% off this level, and pacing for the first close atop their 80-day moving average since suffering a massive bear gap back in February.

Should analysts follow Susquehanna's lead, more bull notes could propel NTNX higher, too. While eight in coverage call the equity a "buy" or better, there are still nine "hold" or worse ratings on the table. The consensus 12-month price target of $34.94, however, is at a 36% premium to current levels. 


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