BIIB Bags Bull Notes After Controversial FDA Decision

The stock has received several analyst upgrades and a price-target hike this morning

Digital Content Manager
Jun 11, 2021 at 10:13 AM
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The shares of Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) are up 1.5% at $421 this morning, following a slew of analyst bull notes, including a hefty price-target hike from J.P. Morgan Securities to $435 from $269, as well as an upgrade from UBS to "buy," and an upgrade from Bernstein to "outperform." Both brokerages are expecting this week's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Biogen's Alzheimer's drug Aduhelm to give it a big sales boost. 

The new drug has been the subject of controversy this week, with a third member of a key FDA panel resigning over its approval last night, calling it "one of the worst drug approval decisions in recent U.S. history," in a resignation letter. The treatment has a hefty price tag, too. Biogen listed the treatment at $56,000 per year -- much higher than the $10,000 to $25,000 price several analysts were expecting -- but promised not to hike the price for four years. 

The maelstrom of news surrounding the drug has BIIB making some incredibly outsized moves. The stock surged 38% on Monday, hitting a record peak of $468.55, and has continued to climb higher for most of the week. Should today's gains hold, the stock could be heading for its biggest weekly percentage gain on record. 

Today's round of bull notes could just be the beginning for Biogen. The equity's 12-month consensus price target of $390.49 is a 7% discount to last night's close. Plus, heading into today, nine considered BIIB a "buy" or better, compared to 16 calling it a "hold." 

The options pits have also been a bit more bearish than usual. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), BIIB sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.19, which stands higher than 90% of reading in its annual range. Plus, the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.27 sits in the 91st percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term options traders have been more put-biased than normal. 

Despite all this volatility, BIIB options can still be had at a bargain. This is per the stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 43%, which stands higher than just 11% of readings from the past 12 months. This means options traders are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations for the stock at the moment. 



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