Johnson & Johnson Stock Moves Higher on Company Split News

Year-over-year, JNJ sports an over 12% lead

Digital Content Manager
Nov 12, 2021 at 10:25 AM
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Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is up 1.5% to trade at $165.43 at last check, after it announced it will split into two different companies that will each oversee its consumer goods and pharmaceutical businesses. The separation, which should be completed in the next 18 to 24 months, marks the largest shuffle in the company's 135 years of history.

The last time we checked in on Johnson & Johnson stock, the company was gearing up for earnings as a key U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision loomed. The security has taken a step back from its Aug. 20, all-time high $179.91, though today's pop has JNJ clearing recent pressure at the 50-day moving average. Year-over-year, JNJ is up 12.1%.

Analysts remain optimistic towards the equity, with seven of the 10 in coverage calling it a "buy" or better, while the remaining three rate it a tepid "hold." In addition, the 12-month consensus target price of $187.35 is a significant 12.9% premium to Johnson & Johnson stock's current levels.

The security could benefit from a shift in the options pits, which lean bearish. This is per JNJ's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR), which sits higher than 79% of readings from the past 12 months. In other words, these short-term options traders have rarely been more put-biased.

That shift seems to be already taking place today. So far, 27,000 calls and 16,000 puts have been exchanged, or eight times the intraday average. Most popular is the weekly 11/12 167.50-strike call, followed by the 165-strike put in the same weekly series, with new positions being opened at both.


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