Weak Drug Sales Undermine BIIB's Earnings Beat

The stock looks to have hit a plateau in mid-January

Deputy Editor
Apr 22, 2021 at 9:57 AM
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The shares of Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) were last seen down 3.9% at $259.23, even after the pharmaceutical concern posted first-quarter earnings of $5.34 per share, which topped analysts' estimates. The firm lifted its 2021 adjusted profit forecast, adding that it expects its experimental  Alzheimer's drug, aducanumad, to win approval in the U.S. by June, and bring in sales later this year. Biogen's revenue also beat expectations, though weak sales for multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera could be weighing on the shares this morning. 

The equity has been middling since it managed to reclaim the $260 level in mid-January. And though BIIB briefly broke out atop its 320-day moving average, the trendline has acted as a ceiling on the charts, continuing to loom overhead during today's trading. Year-to-date, BIIB sports a 5.8% lead. 

Option traders were bearish ahead of Biogen's earnings event. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), BIIB sports a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.67, which stands in the 93rd percentile of its annual range. This means puts are outnumbering calls at a quicker-than-usual clip. 

Short-term option traders have been incredibly put-biased, too. The security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.66 stands in the top-most percentile of all readings from the past 12 months. 

The brokerage bunch has also taken a hesitant stance. Of the 24 in coverage, 17 consider BIIB a "hold" or worse rating, while the remaining seven say "buy" or better. The 12-month consensus price target of $290.24, meanwhile, is a 12.3% premium to current levels. 

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