This bull market is now over eight years old, and the markets have become less than certain in 2017 after a post-election rally took the major stock indexes to new all-time highs. While investors have reason to have at least some pause, the reality is that equity investors have managed to find a reason to buy every one of the market pullbacks for over five years now. Those same investors are also still looking for new trading and investing ideas.
24/7 Wall St. has featured many gainers and losers over time, but it was hard to ignore a certain group of stocks under $10 per share. It turns out that there were over 30 stocks with market caps above $50 million that were up over 100% already in 2017 — and some were up over 200% and 300%.
In reviewing the top gainers in this group, preference was given to U.S.-based companies, but not exclusively. We then narrowed the group to stocks with a market cap of more than $100 million in all but one case. Additional color has been provided in news and developments that may be behind the drive, and if possible recent analyst coverage commentary has been included as well.
These are nine stocks trading under $10 a share have gains of 100% or more so far in 2017.
1. Rexahn Pharmaceuticals: Up 370%
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSEMKT: RNN) has been a screamer in 2017, up well over 300% year to date. At $0.67 a share, its market cap is close to $155 million. While the stock was at $0.62 at the time, the analyst at Rodman & Renshaw assigned a new Buy rating and $2 price target on April 6. Rexahn has clinical stage drug candidates targeting pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer and other tumors.
Rexahn’s 52-week trading range is $0.13 to $0.71, but it has a long history of price volatility, as well as a price under $5 back to 2006.
2. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals: Up 233%
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AUPH) was last seen at $7.20 a share, for a gain of more than 230% so far in 2017. The market cap is $500 million or so, and the surge here was on moving its lupus drug study ahead to Phase 3 trial. Some investors might consider that despite being up so much this stock actually peaked above $10 briefly during the first half of March. The analyst team at Cantor Fitzgerald started Aurinia with an Overweight rating and assigned a $14 price target on April 10.
Aurinia Pharmaceuticals has a 52-week range of $1.74 to $10.54. This was the highest surge since its debut in 2014.
3. Southcross Energy Partners Up 225%
Southcross Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXE) is a small cap ($340 million value) natural gas player in a master limited partnership (MLP) structure. It is based in Dallas, and its units have screamed from about $1.50 at the start of 2017 to about $4.25. Very few analysts have made comments worth noting here.
Southcross Energy Partners has a 52-week range of $1.10 to $4.48. Note that its units were north of $20 back in 2014.
4. Galectin Therapeutics: Up 210%
Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GALT) has almost $100 million in market cap ($89 million) but at $3.00 apiece its shares have risen over 200% so far in 2017. Back on March 30, 2017, H.C. Wainwright raised its rating to Buy from Neutral, and it assigned a $3.50 price target to the shares. In early March of 2017, Galectin’s GR-MD-02 demonstrated efficacy in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Galectin Therapeutics shares have traded between $0.49 and $3.68 in the past year. This company has been public for almost 15 years now, and in 2003 this was briefly a $30 stock.
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