Drug Distributor Stock Earns Rare Double-Upgrade

Bank of America Securities thinks CAH is best among drug distributors

Managing Editor
Mar 20, 2020 at 2:00 PM
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Lost in the shuffle of today's roller coaster price action is Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH), up 0.7% to trade at $44.09. Keeping the drug distributor in the black this morning is a double-upgrade to "buy" from "underperform" at Bank of America Securities. The analyst in coverage believes -- while setting a $58 price target -- that Cardinal Health is best positioned among its sector peers to take navigate the COVID-19 outbreak and the corresponding treatment protocols.

Cardinal Health stock earlier traded at high as $46. Nevertheless, CAH is pacing for its fourth-straight weekly loss, with pressure overhead from its 10-day moving average. During this slide, the shares have taken a 28% haircut since their Feb. 12 annual high of $60.69. 

Daily Stock Chart CAH

Today's price target of $58 sits right at the security's consensus 12-month price target of $57.79, a 31% premium to its current perch. But in general, today's double-upgrade is rare, considering 10 of the 11 brokerages in coverage rate CAH a "hold" or "sell." 

In the options pits, the attitude leans toward puts heavily. The stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.38 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks in the 91st percentile of its annual range. This indicates a healthier-than-usual appetite for long puts over calls in the past two weeks. Although there hasn't been much of an influx in options activity, the March 45 put is the most popular today.


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