4 Top Jefferies Growth Stock Calls for This Week

With a burst on Friday, the markets fought back into the green for the year, albeit barely. Through the first four and a half months of the year, the S&P 500 is up 2.8%. It may be nothing to write home about, but better than being down. A new research report from Jefferies acknowledges that while the unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest level since 2008, the numbers are still probably stubborn enough to hold the Federal Reserve off from raising rates until December. That is not a widely shared view on Wall Street.

With the low rate tailwind, they also highlight top growth stock calls for this week. We screened the list for the stocks that have solid upside potential and good long-term growth prospects.

Anacor Pharmaceuticals

Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANAC) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from its boron chemistry platform. Its first approved drug, Kerydin (tavaborole) topical solution, 5%, is an oxaborole antifungal approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2014 for the topical treatment of onychomycosis of the toenails. In July 2014, Anacor entered into an exclusive agreement with Sandoz, a Novartis company, pursuant to which PharmaDerm, the branded dermatology division of Sandoz, distributes and commercializes Kerydin in the United States.

Anacor’s lead product development candidate is AN2728, an investigational non-steroidal topical PDE-4 inhibitor for the potential treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Beyond Kerydin and AN2728, Anacor has discovered three investigational compounds that it has out-licensed for further development.

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The Jefferies analysts are very positive on the AN2728 prospects and they are moving AN2728 pricing up by 29% as their checks reveal than branded prices for Elidel/Protopic have steadily increased. The new Jefferies 2015 total revenue estimate is $77 million, while Wall Street estimates are much lower at $57 million.

The Jefferies price target for the stock is raised from $57 to $70. The Thomson/First Call price target is at $69.25. The stock closed trading on Friday at $61.40 per share.


This company is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostic products, medical imaging systems and surgical products. Hologic Inc.’s (NASDAQ: HOLX) core business units focus on diagnostics, breast health, GYN surgical and skeletal health. With a unified suite of technologies and a robust research and development program, Hologic is dedicated to what they call the Science of Sure.

The Jefferies team hosted the chief executive and chief financial officer for meetings late last week. They highlighted the changed culture over the past year, with progress seen in the resurgence in the company’s underperforming segments. The 3D cycle is just underway, and the management team believes it will play out over the next three years with good data backing up 3D testing. The analyst thinks the Hologic’s 3D share can go from 14% now to 60% over the next three years. They also think the operating margins can lift from 32% in past year to 35% in three years.

The Jefferies price target is $38, and the consensus target is $35.75. Shares closed Friday at $33.99.

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Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) designs, develops, manufactures and sells electric vehicles, electric vehicle powertrain components, and stationary energy storage systems in the United States, China, Norway and elsewhere. It also provides development services to develop electric vehicle powertrain components and systems for other automotive manufacturers. The company sells its products through a network of Tesla stores and galleries, as well as via the Internet.

Tesla’s new Powerwall home batteries can currently be reserved online, years in advance, with no money down and no commitment to buy. The batteries cost more than $3,000 each. It is possible that at least a portion of the early demand for the batteries will subside once the excitement dies down and the reality of $3,000-plus bills start kicking in. In the first few days of reservations since the battery’s announcement late on April 30, Tesla booked orders worth roughly $800 million in potential revenue, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg Business.

Jefferies initiates the stock with a rating of Buy, and they think it is possible for the company based on survey results to sell 500,000 cars per year, a figure that implies only 0.5% of expected 2020 global light vehicle sales. That is a long way from the current 55,000 per year.

The Jefferies price target is a gigantic $350, while the consensus is much lower at $269.11. Shares closed Friday at $236.61.

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One of the Jefferies analysts’ top picks in specialty pharma, Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG) stock was absolutely destroyed back in the fall when AbbVie made it clear with tax inversion benefits gone that it wanted out of the planned acquisition of the company. Shire had repositioned its business two years ago, undertaking a realignment program with strategic focus on rare diseases and greater operational discipline. Shire has drugs for ulcerative colitis and hereditary angioedema in its portfolio. It also has the top-selling Adderall XR for the treatment of ADHD.

While the company is being challenged on patents by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass for Lialda and Gattex, which according to filings together would have made up approximately 12% of Shire’s revenue in 2014, such challenges can take time, and despite the headline risk, the stock remains a solid buy.

The Jefferies team hosted the CEO and CFO recently and they came away feeling that odds of Lifitegrast approval are high, and if approved the new drug could be a $1 billion global brand.

Shire investors are paid a modest 0.5% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $284. The consensus target is posted at $272.64. Shares closed trading Friday at $245.83.

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These four stocks offer growth investors the kind of upside that comes with a price. These are high-beta and volatile stocks. Should they miss an earnings quarter, the retribution in terms of selling could be steep. With that caveat, they are ideal for aggressive growth investors.

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