BOLD Stock Doubles on Astellas Buyout

Audentes Therapeutics just hit a record high on the M&A news

by Lillian Currens

Published on Dec 3, 2019 at 9:51 AM

Gene therapy concern Audentes Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:BOLD) has more than doubled this morning, surging 104.9% to trade at $58.63, on news that Japan-based drugmaker Astellas Pharma is set to buy the company in a $3 billion cash deal. BMO and Wedbush both lifted their price targets to the per-share buyout price of $60 in response. 

Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray weighed in to say that the move could mean more M&A is coming for other gene therapy companies, as the large pharma players will be looking to get exposure. The current consensus 12-month price target for BOLD of $51.75 is a slight discount to current levels, and prior to today, 10 of the 13 in coverage called BOLD a "buy" or better. 

In the options pits, traders have been overwhelmingly bullish. During the past 10 weeks, over 28 calls have been bought for every put on the the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- a ratio that ranks in the 87th percentile of its annual range. Echoing this, BOLD's Scaheffer's open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.52 indicates that short-term call options almost double puts among contracts expiring within three months. 

Before today's pop, BOLD was already up 34.2% year-to-date. The equity has been bouncing along atop the $26 region in recent months, but ran straight into resistance at its 80-day moving average during this past week. Today, however, the security burst through this trendline clocking a fresh high right out of the gate. 


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