Options Traders Target Plunging Biotech Stock

IOVA options volume is running at five times the intraday volume today

Deputy Editor
Dec 27, 2023 at 10:37 AM
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Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:IOVA) was last seen 17.8% lower to trade at $7.31, one of the worst stock's on the Nasdaq today. The bear gap comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed Iovance's Phase 2 study of its LN-145 TIL lung cancer therapy on hold after a study patient passed.

Just yesterday, Iovance stock came within a chip-shot of its May 23 year-to-date high of $9.36. Even after today's dip, Iovance Biotherapeutics stock is more than 10% higher in 2023. Despite the solid return, if this news is a sign of further underperformance, downgrades could weigh, considering all 12 in coverage rate IOVA a "buy" or better.

IOVA's normally quiet options pits are jumping with activity. So far, 5,225 calls and 391 puts have traded hands, which is five times the average intraday volume. Most popular is the March 11 call, which implies these traders might be calling this area as the security's bottom.

The penchant for calls is nothing new.  Data at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows 15,727 calls changing hands in the last 10 days, compared to just 473 puts.

 

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