Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:IOVA) has had quite the year. The stock saw a massive post-earnings bull gap in May and subsequently rode its 10-day moving average straight towards a five year peak of $26.59 late last month. What's more, IOVA just landed on Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of stocks nearing a 50% year-over-year gain just last week. And while the stock has cooled since reaching this peak, it just showed up in another study from White with historically bullish implications for the pharma concern.
White's study shows that the equity just pulled back to its 70-day moving average after a lengthy period atop the trendline. According to White's data, this signal has flashed seven times before, and ended positive one month later 86% of the time. What's more, the stock has averaged a whopping one-month return of 26.1%, which would place IOVA right below its five-year peak, based on the stock's current perch of $20.70.
Analysts feel confident in the drugmaker too, with all nine calling the stock a "strong buy." Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $33.63 hasn't been touched since 2013, and holds a roughly 62% premium to current levels.
It looks like short-term options traders are in agreement, according to IOVA's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.06, which sits lower than all but 3% of readings from the past year, suggesting an unusually heavy appetite for calls among short-term options players. Likewise, the equity sports an eyebrow-raising 10-day call/put volume ratio of 92.33 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).
Despite this generally bullish sentiment, short interest has inched 2.7% higher in the last two reporting periods to 13.66 million shares sold short. These pessimistic positions have a grasp on 19.1% of the stock's available float, and represent nearly seven days' worth of trading at IOVA's average pace. Should the security shoot back up the charts, an unwinding of bearish bets could put even more wind at IOVA's back.