Biotech Stock Surges to 4-Year Highs on Upbeat Trial

Options volume is today running at 41 times the intraday average

Digital Content Manager
Mar 28, 2023 at 10:12 AM
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Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) is surging, last seen up 53.7% at $14.02, after the company revealed plans to start a mid-stage trial for experimental obesity drug VK2735 later this year. This follows upbeat early-stage data, which showed up to 6% reduction in mean body weight.

Today's bull gap has shares breaking through a ceiling at the $12 level, and reconquering the 20-day moving average after a series of pullbacks below the trendline. The security is also trading at four-year highs, and boasts 312.9% year-over-year lead. 

Overall options volume is today running at 41 times the intraday average, with 16,000 calls and 1,329 puts exchanged so far. Most popular is the August 3 call, followed by the 4 call in the same monthly series.

This denotes a shift in sentiment. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), VKTX'S 50-day put/call volume ratio sits higher than all 89% of readings from the past year, indicating puts have been more popular than usual.

Viking Therapeutics stock looks ripe for a short squeeze. Short interest is up 13.8% over the last two reporting periods, and the 5.31 million shares sold short account for 7.6% of VKTX's available float.


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