Sunny Outlook, Incoming Vaccine Data Lifts JNJ to Fresh Highs

The firm expects promising Covid-19 vaccine data to be released next week

Deputy Editor
Jan 26, 2021 at 9:31 AM
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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) stock is getting a boost this morning, last seen up 1.8% at an all-time high of $169, after the major company posted better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings, though profits dropped 56.7% due to litigation expenses. The firm also posted a 2021 outlook that exceeded Wall Street's estimates, and its chief financial officer noted that promising data for its single-dose Covid-19 vaccine trial was expected to come out next week. 

The pharmaceutical stock rallied past overhead pressure at the $156 level -- home to JNJ's former late-April peak -- in late December. The equity has since found a solid leg of support at its 20-day moving average, and sports a strong year-over-year lead of roughly 12%. 

Analysts are optimistic toward the security. Of the 12 in coverage, nine carry a "buy" or better rating, while only three say "hold." Meanwhile, the stock's 12-month consensus price target of $169.13 sits just slightly above last night's close, indicating price-target hikes could be on the horizon. 

Options traders have been overwhelmingly bullish, per JNJ's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 4.65 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than all but 1% of readings from the past year, suggesting long calls have been picked up at a faster-than-usual clip.

This sentiment has been echoed by short-term traders, as seen by the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.37, which sits in its lowest annual percentile. This means short-term option traders haven't been more call-biased over the past year. 


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