Analysts React to ACADIA Trial Update

ACAD shares are flirting with a 200% YTD gain

by Josh Selway

Published on Nov 26, 2019 at 9:32 AM

It's been a huge year for ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD), thanks to positive updates for its drugs Nuplazid and pimavanserin, the latter of which again has the pharma name in focus. The company yesterday evening revealed mixed trial results for the drug for patients with negative symptoms of schizophrenia, with the treatment meeting its top-line goals, but failing to separate from placebo on the secondary endpoint.

In response, ACAD shares are trading down 1% at $47.29, pulling back from yesterday's four-year high of $48.27. The weak price action today comes despite bullish analyst attention, with RBC beginning coverage with an "outperform" rating and $60 price target, and Canaccord Genuity reiterated its "buy" rating and $52 price target. Oppenheimer, meanwhile, upped its price target to $48 from $44.

Most analysts are already pricing in more upside for the drugmaker, which has added almost 200% on a year-to-date basis. This is according to the average 12-month price target of $54.86, representing almost an almost 15% premium to current levels.

As for options data, peak front-month open interest is at the December 50 call, with the 55 call close behind. But while the former contract has seen almost exclusive buy-to-open activity, the latter has seen mostly sell-to-open action. From a more broader perspective, call open interest among options expiring within three months more than doubles put open interest, according to the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.47.


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