Healthcare Business

7 Speculative Biotech and Pharma Stocks That Could Still Double (or More)

On May 25, Aegis Capital reiterated its Buy rating on Inovio and raised its target to $14. Aegis views the infectious disease opportunity as promising, given the strong responses from the Ebola, Zika, MERS and HIV trials, and the firm is now including the infectious disease portfolio in its valuation based on the median value from comparable portfolios. Aegis has the highest official price target of all analysts, and the recent share price drop gets this back close enough to a potential double, if the most optimistic analyst call comes to fruition. It is probably a great idea for speculative investors to look over some of the less positive analyst reports for additional color.

MEI Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: MEIP) was started as Outperform and assigned a $6 price target at Oppenheimer on May 25. This target represented more than 250% upside to the $1.67 prior closing price. MEI Pharma shares were trading up almost 11% on the day of this call, and the trading volume was already 300% of normal daily volume by noon that day. On May 30, MEI Pharma shares were trading at $2.14, and its 52-week range was $1.23 to $2.28. Its market cap was a mere $79 million.

Protagonist Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PTGX) saw its shares rise nearly 50% after news that signed a drug pact with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen for a $50 million payment and getting the potential to receive up to $940 million more in development, regulatory and sales milestones. With a market cap of only $140 million before the news, several analysts have keyed in ahead of and after the news that this stock could be worth closer to $30 ahead. On the morning of May 31, BMO Capital Markets even raised its price target to $45 from $34.

Protagonist shares were up 43% at $11.77 after the news was released, but they had traded as high as $14.85 and as low as $11.12 on that same day.

pSivida Corp. (NASDAQ: PSDV) was started with a Buy rating and assigned an $8 price target at Rodman & Renshaw on May 30, compared with a $2.22 prior closing price. Back on May 9, Ladenburg Thalmann reiterated its Buy rating and it had a $12.50 price target, versus a $1.94 closing price. pSivida has a 52-week range of $1.50 to $4.25.

The big upside calls came after pSivida showed that a single injection of Durasert reduced the frequency of disease recurrence, improved visual acuity and reduced systemic therapy usage, with low changes in IOP and cataract incidence. This stock is no stranger to volatility, and it has a mere $91 million market value.

Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS) is targeting osteoporosis and other endocrine-mediated diseases, and the team at JPMorgan sees big upside. The firm has a $74 target and was part of a large industry snapshot from May 19 ahead of the abaloparatide marketing launch for the treatment of osteoporosis. This was shown in detail, but JPMorgan’s view is that Radius Health could reach $74, significantly higher than the $57.13 consensus target price. The firm sees Radius as successfully positioned and its assets as undervalued at the current stock price.

Radius has a street-high analyst target of $85 and its lowest analyst target is down at $24. Radius shares were trading at $35.00 around this snapshot, and the stock was at $34.50 on May 30. The 52-week range is $31.58 to $59.88.

Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO) saw its shares skyrocket early in May after positive news around a collaboration with Pfizer and after positive presentation on preclinical data on non-viral delivery of zinc-finger nucleases. Sangamo shares initially traded up 50% at $6.55 around that time, and they rose even further before pulling back. The consensus price target was just $6.67 at that time, but that target had risen to $11.20 after more enthusiasm came in.

On May 15, Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating on Sangamo but took its sum-of-the-parts valuation up to $20. Its view is that Sangamo’s competitive advantage in gene-editing stems from years of experience with single loci targeting. Shares were at $8.20 going into the call, but they were trading back at $6.85 on May 30. Sangamo has a 52-week range of $2.65 to $7.60.

As far as upcoming catalysts for Big Pharma stocks, AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer all have potentially large upcoming catalysts. Also, here are more than 10 companies expected to have big cancer presentations at the ASCO annual meeting at the start of June.

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