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2 Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Blockbuster Potential

2 Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Blockbuster Potential

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A lot can change after a single trip around the sun. While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the economy, CFRA’s chief investment strategist, Sam Stovall, thinks that the market will continue to stage a recovery, with stocks returning to all-time highs in the next year.

“In other bear markets going back to 1929, and the average 13-month advance was 50%. We have a very good possibility of retracing our steps and challenging the old high,” Stovall stated. He estimates that the S&P 500 will reach the 3,435 mark in the next twelve months, which from current levels, would reflect a 17% pop as well as surpass the 3,393 high-point hit back on February 19.

That’s not to say the reopening of the economy won’t bring about a second wave of COVID-19 infections, but Stovall argues that even if this occurs, the U.S. government’s huge stimulus packages should mitigate the impacts. “We’ve had a lot of people compare it with the crash of ’29, the depression of the 1930s, etc. But back then, you had the government actually tightening their reins, balancing their budget — you did not have a reactive Federal Reserve. Whereas today, you have the exact opposite,” Stovall explained.

With this in mind, investors are scanning the Street for compelling plays, hoping to snap up stocks before share prices set off on an upward trajectory. For more risk-tolerant investors, penny stocks, or names trading for less than $5 per share, are taking center stage. Not only do you get more bang for your buck, but also even minor share price appreciation can result in major percentage gains. However, other market watchers believe that these bargain prices are too good to be true, noting there could be a very good reason a particular ticker is trading at such low levels.

Taking the risk into consideration, we used TipRanks’ database to pinpoint two penny stocks within the healthcare sector that look especially promising; each boasts a “Strong Buy” consensus rating from the analysts and sky-scraping upside potential.

Strongbridge Biopharma (SBBP)

With one rare disease asset, Keveyis, already available and a Phase 3 candidate, Recorlev, Strongbridge could potentially transform the treatment paradigm. Bearing this in mind, ahead of the upcoming Recorlev data release in the third quarter of 2020, several members of the Street believe that its $2.86 share price reflects the ideal entry point.

In a recent update, management stated that the Phase 3 LOGICS data readout for Recorlev in Cushing's syndrome is right on track, with 41 out of 42 patients having already completed the randomized withdrawal phase. In addition, another patient should be enrolled any day now.  

According to Oppenheimer’s Hartaj Singh, there is a “clear path to top-line data in 3Q20," noting that the completion of 41 patients suggests that the COVID-19 disruption will have a limited impact on the quality of the data. Singh also thinks that the Recorlev supply should be enough to last throughout the trial. The 5-star analyst added, “Following a positive readout, an NDA submission for Recorlev could be filed within ~six months, after which a standard 10-month review cycle would be expected. We anticipate a launch in late 2021/early 2022.” To this end, the data readout could drive massive upside.

Despite the fact that SBBP faces competition, Recorlev's profile is clinically relevant, in Singh’s opinion. “Recorlev's profile could not only convert ketoconazole switches but also the existing branded products. From our physician research, we found the dissatisfaction with pasireotide (Signifor), whose diabetes risk is contraindicated with Cushing's, as an opportunity for disruption. In this vein, we believe the improvements on metabolic and other metrics can be particularly meaningful for Recorlev commercially,” he commented.

Singh also points out that Cushing's launch could benefit from the ultra-orphan primary periodic paralysis (PPP) market. “The successful efforts to build strong patient support services and management are likely to translate well into Cushing's, a population which can be challenging to manage due to the complexity of their disease, co-morbidities, and high unmet need,” he noted.

As Singh believes SBBP is an “underappreciated name with significant risk/reward potential," he reiterates an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, along with a $6 price target, which implies a 104% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Singh’s track record, click here)   

Turning now to the rest of the Street, other analysts also like what they’re seeing. 3 Buys and no Holds or Sells have been assigned in the last three months, making the consensus rating a Strong Buy. At $12, the average price target puts the upside potential at a whopping 320%. (See Strongbridge stock analysis on TipRanks)

Selecta Biosciences (SELB)

Our second pick is Selecta Biosciences, which is working on overcoming immunogenicity with its innovative ImmTOR immune tolerance platform. With top-line data from the COMPARE Phase 2 study of its SEL-212 candidate in severe gout expected in Q3 of this year, the analyst community thinks that at $3.24 apiece, now is the time to snap up shares.  

Weighing in on SELB for Canaccord, five-star analyst John Newman sees the upcoming data readout as a major catalyst for shares. “We expect SEL-212 to show a large and statistically significant improvement for serum uric acid control vs Krystexxa in COMPARE, which should move the stock significantly higher during 3Q20. We believe the study is highly powered to show a statistically significant benefit for SEL-212,” he stated.

Newman also argues that the data from patients that didn’t receive all of the infusions should still be factored into the results. Expounding on this, he said, “Also, very importantly, patients who drop out of the study due to a missed infusion should still be included in the study, in our view, meaning study powering should not be affected. This is the same statistical treatment used in the original Phase 3 Krystexxa studies.”

Looking more closely at the baseline serum uric acid (SUA) enrollment requirements, they are identical for both the SEL-212 and Krystexxa arms. According to Newman, this means the efficacy difference will be clearly interpretable. It should also be noted that SELB did change the baseline SUA measurement in order to accelerate enrollment, but as both arms were equally impacted, the analyst thinks the alteration is irrelevant.

While some investors expressed concern regarding COVID-19's impact on the data readout, half of the patients had already completed the study as of April, and flexibility regarding the location of blood draws and infusion frequency limits the impact as well.

To this end, Newman left his Buy rating and $13 price target unchanged. Should this target be met, a twelve-month gain of 301% could be in the cards. (To watch Newman’s track record, click here)

What does the rest of the Street think about SELB’s long-term growth prospects? It turns out that other analysts also have high hopes. Only Buy ratings have been received in the last three months, 7 to be exact, so the consensus rating is a Strong Buy. Not to mention the $7.83 average price target implies 139% upside potential. (See Selecta stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

The post 2 Biotech Stocks Under $5 With Blockbuster Potential appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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China Shortens Travel Quarantine In COVID Zero Shift

China Shortens Travel Quarantine In COVID Zero Shift

China unexpectedly slashed quarantine times for international travelers, to just one…

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China Shortens Travel Quarantine In COVID Zero Shift

China unexpectedly slashed quarantine times for international travelers, to just one week, which suggests Beijing is easing COVID zero policies. The nationwide relaxation of pandemic restrictions led investors to buy Chinese stocks.

Inbound travelers will only quarantine for ten days, down from three weeks, which shows local authorities are easing draconian curbs on travel and economic activity as they worry about slumping economic growth sparked by restrictive COVID zero policies earlier this year that locked down Beijing and Shanghai for months (Shanghai finally lifted its lockdown measures on May 31). 

"This relaxation sends the signal that the economy comes first ... It is a sign of importance of the economy at this point," Li Changmin, Managing Director at Snowball Wealth in Guangzhou, told Bloomberg

At the peak of the COVID outbreak, many residents in China's largest city, Shanghai, were quarantined in their homes for two months, while international travelers were under "hard quarantines" for three weeks. The strict curbs appear to have suppressed the outbreak, but the tradeoff came at the cost of faltering economic growth. 

The announcement of the shorter quarantine period suggests a potentially more optimistic outlook for the Chinese economy. Bullish price action lifted CSI 300 Index by 1%, led by tourism-related stocks (LVMH shares rose as much as 2.5%, Richemont +3.1%, Kering +3%, Moncler +3%). 

"The reduction of travel restrictions will be positive for the luxury sector, and may boost consumer sentiment and confidence following months of lockdowns in China's biggest cities," Barclays analysts Carole Madjo wrote in a note. 

CSI 300 is up 19% from April's low, nearing bull market territory. 

Jane Foley, a strategist at Rabobank in London, commented that "this news suggests that perhaps the authorities will not be as stringent with Covid controls as has been expected." 

"The news also coincides with reports that the PBOC is pledging to keep monetary policy supportive," Foley pointed out, referring to Governor Yi Gang's latest comment. 

She said, "this suggests a potentially more optimistic outlook for the Chinese economy, which is good news generally for commodity exporters such as Australia and all of China's trading partners." 

Even though the move is the right step in the right direction, Joerg Wuttke, head of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, said, "the country cannot open its borders completely due to relatively low vaccination rates ... This, in conjunction with a slow introduction of mRNA vaccines, means that China may have to maintain a restricted immigration policy beyond the summer of 2023." 

Alvin Tan, head of Asia currency strategy in Singapore for RBC Markets, also said shortening quarantine time for inbound visitors shouldn't be a gamechanger, and "there's nothing to say that it won't be raised tomorrow." 

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 07:38

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Economics

Energy Stocks Are Down, But Remain Top Sector Performer

High-flying energy shares have hit turbulence in recent weeks but remain, by far, the leading performer for US equity sectors so far in 2022, as of yesterday’s…

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High-flying energy shares have hit turbulence in recent weeks but remain, by far, the leading performer for US equity sectors so far in 2022, as of yesterday’s close (June 27), based on a set of ETFs. But with global growth slowing, and recession risk rising, analysts are debating if it’s time to cut and run.

The broad-based correction in stocks has weighed on energy shares lately. Energy Sector SPDR (XLE) has fallen sharply after reaching a record high on June 8. Despite the slide, XLE remains the best-performing sector by a wide margin year to date via a near-36% gain in 2022.

By contrast, the overall US stock market is still in the red via SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), which is down nearly 18% year to date. The worst-performing US sector: Consumer Discretionary Sector SPDR (XLY), which is in the hole by almost 29% this year.

The case for, and against, seeing energy’s recent weakness as a buying opportunity can be filtered through two competing narratives. The bullish view is that the Ukraine war continues to disrupt energy exports from Russia, a major source of oil and gas. As a result, pinched supply will continue to exert upward pressure on prices in a world that struggles to quickly find replacements for lost energy sources. The question is whether growing headwinds from inflation, rising interest rates and other factors will take a toll on global economic growth to the point the energy demand tumbles, driving prices down.

The market seems to be entertaining both possibilities at the moment and is still processing the odds that one or the other scenario prevails, or not. Meanwhile, energy bulls predict that the pullback in oil and gas prices is only a temporary run of weakness in an ongoing bull market for energy.

Goldman Sachs, in particular, remains bullish on energy and advises that the potential for more prices gains in crude oil and other products “is tremendously high right now,” according to Jeffrey Currie, the bank’s global head of commodities research. “The bottom line is the situation across the energy space is incredibly bullish right now. The pullback in prices we would view as a buying opportunity,” he says. “At the core of our bullish view of energy is the underinvestment thesis. And that applies more today than it did two weeks, three weeks ago, because we’ve just seen exodus of money from the space… investment continues to run from the space at a time it should be coming to the space.”

Meanwhile, a bit of historical perspective on momentum for all the sector ETFs listed above reminds that the trend direction remains bearish overall. But contrarians take note: the downside bias is close to the lowest levels since the pandemic first took a hefty bite out of market action back in March 2020 (see chart below). This may or may not be a long-term buying opportunity, but the odds for a bounce, however, temporary, look relatively strong at the moment.


Learn To Use R For Portfolio Analysis
Quantitative Investment Portfolio Analytics In R:
An Introduction To R For Modeling Portfolio Risk and Return

By James Picerno


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Economics

Five things you can do to help you have a more positive birth experience

Becoming a parent can be nerve-wracking – but there are many things you can do to feel more in control.

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Don't be afraid to make your preferences clear to your care provider. Syda Productions/ Shutterstock

Whether you’re a first time parent or have had children before, you’re probably willing to try anything to ensure you have the most positive birth experience you can. After all, the kind of birth experience you have can not only affect your own mental health, but can have an affect on parent-child bonding, as well as partner-to-partner relationships for years after giving birth.

It can be confusing to know what to expect or where to turn to for advice, especially as maternity services have changed due to falling staff numbers and the continued impact of COVID-19. But here are a few things you can do yourself as you navigate your maternity care, which may help you have a more positive birth experience:

1. Get educated

Studies have shown that signing up for antenatal classes can help reduce fear, depression and anxiety – both during pregnancy and after birth.

Typically, antenatal classes will help you understand what’s happening to your body during pregnancy and explain the birth process. They may also teach you coping strategies to help relax during labour, alongside guidance on caring for your new baby. Antenatal classes can also be a great way of meeting other parents going through the same thing as you.

Another option is creating a personalised care and support plan, which is offered by most NHS trusts in the UK. This is a tool you can use with your care providers to explore what’s important to you – and discuss what your range of options are, such as your preferred place of birth, or whether you prefer skin-to-skin contact with your baby immediately after birth.

Understanding what your body’s going through, and making a personalised plan for your birth, may help you feel more prepared and less anxious about what to expect.

2. Know your carers

Being cared for by one nominated midwife, or being assigned to a team of familiar midwives, is shown to be associated with better outcomes for you and your baby – including decreased chance of having a premature labour and lower likelihood of needing interventions (such as birth with the help of forceps). You’re also more likely to be satisfied with your overall experience.

When an allocated midwife is not an option this makes choosing the right birth partners crucial. They can not only offer you reassurance, encouragement and support but can be your advocate, help you try different positions in labour and help provide you with snacks and drinks. Most typically these would be trusted loved ones. But be aware that research shows birth partners may also feel anxious or overwhelmed at taking on this role, and may struggle with seeing a loved one in pain – so it’s important to be realistic about your expectations, and choose the right person. It may be the best birth partner for you is a close friend or relative.

3. Challenge care recommendations if you aren’t happy

There are likely to be many other options available to you – such as where you might give birth, or how you want to be cared for during labour.

During antenatal appointments be sure to pause, think and ask about benefits, risks and alternatives to the care being proposed. Research shows how important choice and personalised care are for expectant parents who want their voices and preferences to be acknowledged, and to receive consistent advice.

Expectant couple speak with female doctor in doctor's office.
Bringing a loved one or partner with you can make it easier to voice any concerns you may have. wavebreakmedia/ Shutterstock

If you have concerns over a suggestion your care providers have made or have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. Take your birth partner with you if you prefer, who can empower you to ensure your voice is heard. After all, care providers are duty bound to ensure you make fully informed choices.

4. Don’t always listen to your friends and family

Once people hear you have a baby on the way it seems everyone feels the need, without asking, to tell you the full (and often graphic) details of their own children’s birth.

But it’s perfectly acceptable to politely change the subject if you don’t want to listen, or if hearing these stories makes you nervous or worry. It’s also worth remembering that each person has a different labour and birth, even with their own children – so what was true for someone else is likely not to be the same for you. While it can be helpful for some people to debrief after the birth, it’s okay to avoid hearing this yourself if it makes your nervous, and maybe suggest they speak with a professional about their experience instead of telling you.

5. Visit your preferred place of birth

Many maternity units are now opening up their doors again to tours and informal visits – and those that aren’t are doing this virtually.

Becoming familiar with where you might give birth – even down to where you might park on the day – can help you feel more confident about giving birth. It may also remove some of the unknown, helping you regain a sense of control – which in itself is linked to a more positive birth experience.

For those planning a homebirth, speak to your midwife about how you can improve your space to facilitate the most safe and positive experience. For one of the most important days of your life, visualising where this will take place ahead of time can help you feel more confident and in control.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that no one can predict exactly how your labour and birth journey will go. Even after heeding the above steps – there’s always a chance you may need to consider a plan B, C or even D. But no matter what, remember you’ve done your very best, and you’re not likely to repeat this exact experience the next time.

Claire Parker does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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