Johnson & Johnson Stock Unable to Score Post-Earnings Pop

The security has added 17% in the last nine months, though

Digital Content Manager
Jul 21, 2021 at 10:03 AM
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Part of the blue-chip earnings deluge this morning, the shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) are down 0.5% at $167.76 at last check, despite the pharma giant reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, as well as a revenue beat. These strong results can be at least in part attributed to quarterly Covid-19 vaccine sales of $164 million. The pharmaceutical concern also raised its fiscal 2021 forecast, estimating $2.5 billion in Covid-19 vaccine sales this year. However, those estimates are well below those provided by Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) for their rival shots, due to Johnson & Johnson's struggles with production issues and safety concerns. 

Johnson & Johnson stock has made at least two runs towards its Jan. 26, all-time high of $173.62, but fell short at the $172 level each time. In the last nine months, JNJ has added 17%, with support emerging from its ascending 140-day moving average.

JNJ could benefit from a shift in the options pits, which lean bearish. This is according to Johnson & Jonson stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands in the 97th percentile of its annual range. This indicates long puts are being picked up at a faster-than-usual clip. 

Drilling down to today's options activity, 5,481 calls and 3,037 puts have crossed the tape so far, which is twice the intraday average. Most popular is the 7/23 170-strike call, followed by the 175-strike call in the same series, both of which expire at the end of the week.

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