Pharma Stock Finds Grounding Despite Pulled Application

NVS is seeing attractively priced premiums at the moment

Assistant Editor
Jun 29, 2020 at 10:49 AM
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The shares of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) are up 0.8% at last check, after receiving approval for five new products from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Over the weekend, however, Novartis pulled its application for European approval of its dry-eye drug Xiidra, after regulators said its effectiveness had not been demonstrated. Japan's Takeda, which sold Xiidra to Novartis for $3.4 billion upfront with an additional $1.9 billion in potential milestone receipts in July of 2019, also stands to lose around $200 million from this withdrawal. Meanwhile, the drug is already approved in the U.S.

Consistently tapering off after reaching the $91 region for the past two months, NVS is still up 7% in the last three. More recently, the stock has found support at the 30-day moving average, where a pullback was caught at $87.

Analysts are, for the most part, bullish on Novartis stock, with five out of seven sporting a "strong buy" rating. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $104 is an 18.8% premium to current levels. 

That said, speculating on NVS' next move with options could be a prudent play.The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 24% stands higher than just 18% of all other readings in its annual range, implying that options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment. 

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