Call Players Take Aim at Tanking Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (FOLD)

Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (FOLD) is short-sale restricted, after the company announced a delay on its migalastat new drug application

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 2, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD) is among the biggest losers on the Nasdaq, after the company said its new drug application (NDA) for its experimental migalastat treatment likely won't be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by year-end. At last check, the shares have tanked 40% at $8.23, and have landed on the short-sale restricted list. Meanwhile, activity has spiked in the stock's options pits.

Most notably, FOLD call volume is running at 21 times the normal intraday rate, and about 3.5 times the pace of puts. The most active option is the now out-of-the-money January 2016 10-strike call, where 2,000 contracts are on the tape -- half of which transpired as a block.

This represents a departure from the longer-term put-skewed trend. Specifically, FOLD's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.90 ranks in the 82nd percentile of its annual range. In other words, traders have been buying to open bearish bets over bullish at a faster-than-usual clip of late.

On the flip side, the brokerage bunch has taken a shine to Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD). Three-quarters of analysts have doled out "strong buy" endorsements on the stock, while its consensus 12-month price target of $23.10 nearly triples the current perch (and would mark record-high levels). If today's disappointing news -- and resultant bear gap -- prompt a round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts, FOLD could face even more pressure.

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