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Seres Therapeutics Stock Scales Nasdaq on Positive Drug Data

Laura McCandless
·2 min read

Seres Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:MCRB) is flying on the charts today, up 331.3% at $20.01 at last check, after earlier hitting a four-year high of $33. Responsible for today's surge is the the company's lead drug, SER-109, which met its main goal in a late-stage study in patients with Clostridium difficile infections (CDI). CDI is currently the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. 

Analysts were already bullish on MCRB, which now sports a 508.1% lead for the year. Four out of the five analysts in coverage sport a "strong buy," with one lingering at a tepid "hold" rating. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $8.08 is currently at a 61.2% discount to current levels. 

Short sellers, meanwhile, have been firmly in control. Short interest climbed 9.4% in the last two reporting periods, and now the 7.67 million shares sold short account for 17.7% of the stock's available float. In other words, it would take nearly twelve days to cover at Seres Therapeutics stock's average pace of trading. Should some of this pessimism begin to unwind, it could put some additional wind at the equity's back. 

Over in the options pits, traders have been quick to chime in, with 28,000 calls and 49,000 puts across the tape so far today -- 21 times the intraday average, with volume running in the top percentile of its annual range. Most popular are the August 7.50 put, and the October 5 call, with positions being opened at the former.

Despite the mere volume, today's penchant for puts is a bit of a change compared to recent activity. In the last 10 days, 5,547 calls and 4,930 puts were exchanged, equating to a call/put volume ratio of 1.13 at the Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).