With summer just around the corner, one thing is for sure. Investors may start to see volume slowing and the action could get a little mixed. While “sell in May and go away” wasn’t really the tactic this year, U.S. stocks are really out of favor, with many portfolio managers focusing on Europe and Japan. A new report from Jefferies focuses on top U.S. growth stock call investors can look at this week.
The Jefferies team likes the contract research space, and they also are very bullish on a mega-cap technology stock and a small-cap biotech. All are rated Buy at Jefferies.
This small-cap biotech may prove to be a big-time winner for aggressive accounts. Antares Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRS) focuses on self-administered parenteral pharmaceutical products. The company’s product, Otrexup (methotrexate) injection for subcutaneous use, is approved in the United States for the treatment of adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis, children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and adults with severe recalcitrant psoriasis. Antares Pharma is also developing QuickShot Testosterone for testosterone replacement therapy, and Vibex Sumatriptan for the acute treatment of migraines.
The Jefferies team thinks the company’s deep pipeline and Vibex EpiPEN launch with Teva are compelling reasons to own the stock now. Trading at less than two times forward sales estimates, the analysts flat-out think the stock is cheap and the risk/reward very fair.
Jefferies recently initiated the stock with a rating of Buy and a price target of a whopping $5. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $4.80. The stock closed on Monday at $2.14 a share.
Charles Rivers Laboratories
This is one of the premier contract research companies in the sector. Charles Rivers Laboratories International Inc. (NYSE: CRL) provides essential products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. The company is focused on providing clients with exactly what they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them.
First-quarter results came in below analysts’ expectations, and shares got scaled pretty good back in March, trading down almost 20%. Investors have a solid entry level point at current trading levels. With research and development booming at pharmaceutical companies, the highest in almost 10 years, the outlook is very solid.
The Jefferies price target is posted at $82. The consensus target is $75.17. Shares closed Monday at $72.44.
The technology giant is striving to expand customer offerings and increase the brand reach. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) recently introduced Android Pay, a revamped photos and a lightweight Android derivative operating system they call Brillo, which is designed to power the Internet of Things. The company also recently announced a new mobile version for the Android OS, which is expected to be released this fall. The Jefferies analysts also point out that the company is looking to expand and beef up the mobile app business as it still trails Apple.
Some prominent Wall Street analysts think that Google can be a big winner in augmented reality (AR) in both the hardware and services categories. With Google Glass and the company’s big investment in Magic Leap for hardware, and virtual reality and AR apps powering the computing of the future, Google’s massive trove of data will be key to enabling both.
The Jefferies price target is set at $700, while the consensus objective is lower at $638.30. The stock closed trading on Monday at $549.21.
This is another of the top contract research companies with big upside potential for investors. Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc. (NYSE: Q) is the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services conducting business in approximately 100 countries. The company has helped develop or commercialize all the top 75 best-selling drugs on the market. Quintiles applies extensive therapeutic, scientific and analytics expertise to help customers navigate an increasingly complex health care environment.
Quintiles recently launched the company’s Asia-Pacific solution, which gives emerging companies access to Quintiles’ data-driven insights, its knowledge of local markets, its in-depth therapeutic and scientific expertise and its global drug development platform. It further adds to Quintiles’ solutions for emerging companies, which includes Novella Clinical, a specialty CRO focused on the needs of small to mid-sized oncology companies and medical device and diagnostic companies.
With R&D budgets jumping and drug companies looking to turn pipeline into products and sales, the company is poised for a very strong second half of 2015. The Jefferies price target for the stock is raised from $79 to $83. The consensus target is $76.57. Shares closed on Monday at $70.04.
The Jefferies top U.S. growth picks for this week run the gamut, and all are suitable for more aggressive accounts.