St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t a terribly lucky one for investors, with the S&P 500 peeling back 0.13% to end the day and the week at 2,378.25. Friday’s rare quadruple-witching likely caps a collar on any efforts to make a major move.
A little bad luck still would have been preferable to the large load of bad luck owners of BRF SA (ADR) (NYSE:BRFS), Snap Inc (NYSE:SNAP) and Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) were dealt today though. These three names were among the worst of the worst performers on Friday. Here’s the deal.
Amgen, Inc. (AMGN)
Investors could have seen the glass as half empty or half full for drugmaker Amgen. They chose to see it as half full, sending AMGN to a loss of 6.4% for the day.
The prod for the pullback was an update on the company’s cholesterol-fighting drug Repatha. Approved a couple of years ago, a post-approval followup study indicated the drug reduces the risk of heart attacks by 27%, and reduces the risk of strokes by 21%.
That’s statistically significant, but not statistically significant enough for many insurers who may balk at the drug’s high cost versus its benefit. Leerink analysts Geoffrey Porges and Bradley Canino explain:
“These results are at the lower end of investors’ expectations, and commentators have already pointed out that there was no effect on cardiovascular or overall mortality … For lower risk patients, such as the simple statin intolerant or primary prevention patients, the lack of mortality benefit is probably going to limit future adoption.”
The Medicines Company (NASDAQ:MDCO) and Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) also both tanked on Friday, as they are developing similar cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Not everyone agrees this spells out tough times for AMGN though. CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) believes the followup data could increase the number of Repatha-eligible patients by millions.
Snap Inc (SNAP)
For the fifth day in just a couple of weeks, Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. saw its stock lose more ground than most.
The company went public with a great deal of fanfare, finding plenty of buyers for the public offering at $17 per share and then even more buyers once it reached a public exchange. The last two weeks have been brutal, however, with today’s 1.8% lull from SNAP translating into a 27% pullback for the last two trading weeks.
Today’s drubbing came courtesy of Mizuho Securities USA. The firm’s research arm noted that while user engagement is strong, the number of people actually clicking on ads was weak. Analyst Neil Doshi was particularly worried that many of the ads just weren’t relevant to a user or a particular message being delivered.
BRF SA (ADR) (BRFS)
Finally, Brazilian meat company BRF SA was implicated in a shocking and somewhat strange scandal, resulting in a police raid of its corporate offices that, if nothing else, looks bad.
The raid was spurred by suspicions that BRF and other food companies had bribed inspectors to overlook unsanitary facilities and the sale of spoiled meat. Company employees as well as several public officials were arrested.
BRFS ended the day down 7.7%.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.