2 Pharma Stocks in Focus on FDA Buzz

Call traders are targeting IBRX today

Deputy Editor
May 11, 2023 at 10:55 AM
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Immunitybio Inc (NASDAQ:IBRX) stock is crumbling today, down 52.1% at $2.98 at last glance, and earlier as low as $2.45, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declined to approve its bladder cancer therapy.

The stock staged quite a rally earlier this month, but is now trading back at April levels. IBRX's 40-day moving average appears to be keeping losses in check, however. Year-over-year, the equity is still up roughly 12%. 

Options traders appear to be betting on upside, with 16,000 calls exchanged so far today -- seven times the amount typically seen at this point -- in comparison to 4,396 puts. The June 7.50 call is the most active, and is also the second most popular open interest (OI) position.

It's also worth noting that IBRX is on the short sell restricted (SSR) list amid today's bear gap. Short interest represents a whopping 27.6% of the stock's available float, or nearly six days' worth of pent-up buying power. 

Perrigo Company PLC (NYSE:PRGO) is in the spotlight as well, after the FDA voted unanimously in favor of the over-the-counter (OTC) use of the pharmaceutical concern's birth control pill. Perrigo stock has reversed its premarket gains, however, down 1.1% at $36.05 at last check. Year-to-date, PRGO is up 5.6%. 

Analysts are wholeheartedly bullish on the drug maker, with all five in coverage carrying a "strong buy" rating. Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $51 represents a 41.4% premium to current levels.


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