Investing

The 11 Biggest and Best Analyst Upgrades of June

Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO) has a Buy rating and a $17 price target at Jefferies. This implies an upside of 109%, versus a closing price of $9.20 on June 22. The company had an impressive showing at American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy annual meeting that positively influenced the firm’s view on the stock. One plus is that Sangamo’s differentiated tech versus CRISPR/Cas9 has been refined and provides a hedge. The technology also has been recently validated by Pfizer, and it is in the lead developmentally with programs in the clinic. Shares of Sangamo traded at $8.80 with a 52-week range of $2.65 to $9.65 and a consensus price target of $11.80.

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) was given an Outperform rating by Wedbush Securities on June 21, and the price target was raised to $34 from $28. That compared with a prior close of just $6.75. While it is more than unusual for an analyst to call for 400% upside, other analysts also have massive upside targets nearly as positive for this speculative stock. Eiger Pharma shares ended the week at $7.90, with a consensus price target of $32.75 and a 52-week range of $6.10 to $20.63.

Jefferies gave Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ABEO) a Buy rating with a $22 price target (versus a $5.60 close on June 22), implying incredible upside of 340%. Jefferies believes Abeona’s lead ABO-102 is on an expedited path to regulatory approval in MPS IIIA, and its EB gene therapy program is another shot on goal — data from both programs has been encouraging and the firm believes this stock is substantially undervalued. Shares of Abeona were last seen at $6.40, within a 52-week range of $2.31 to $9.44 and with a consensus price target of $18.33.

Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (NYSE: HLX) was upgraded to Outperform at Cowen, with its price target raised to $10 from $8. The firm noted that the stock is a top pick and the low case is baked into the price, and also that it now has a very attractive risk-reward profile. That $10 target compared with a $4.90 share price at that time, which implies upside just over 100%. Shares of Helix closed Friday at $5.64, with a consensus price target of $9.13 and a 52-week range of $4.82 to $11.87.

Recro Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: REPH) was reiterated as Buy with a $21 fair value estimate at Janney on June 14. This was up over 200% from the $6.47 prior closing price. The firm sees IV-Meloxicam leading to more opioid-free recovery after surgery after new Phase 3 data. Recro Pharma has a 52-week range of $5.81 to $12.50, and its market cap is tiny at $135 million. Shares were last changing hands at $7.03, with a consensus price target of $18.50.

Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRA) has a Buy rating and a $30 price target, which implied upside of 109%. This company is on track to start its ATA129 Phase 3 in EBV-PTLD in the second half of this year, which will remove a major overhang, and Jefferies believes the trial also has a good chance to succeed. Several other earlier-stage programs already have valuable proof-of-concept clinical data the market is missing. Shares of Atara were last seen at $14.00. The 52-week range is $11.80 to $25.73, and the consensus price target is $30.25.

Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: NTLA) has a Buy rating and a $36 price target, implying upside of 141% from the closing price of $15.30 on June 22. Jefferies considers this company at the forefront of science and medicine using gene-editing to induce permanent changes. As Intellia continues to optimize translating its technology/platform to the clinic, the firm believes it will gain in value and appeal to larger biotech/pharma. Shares were trading at $16.00, in a 52-week range of $10.83 to $24.90. The consensus price target is $26.60.

Ignyta Inc. (NASDAQ: RXDX) has a Buy rating and a $27 price target, implying upside of 170% from the June 21 close of $10.00. The lead program, entrectinib, is a targeted therapy that has demonstrated solid activity versus select cancer-causing gene alterations, including NTRK/ROS1/ALK. The drug has differentiated central nervous system activity, which Jefferies believes can make it a preferred agent in a proportion of ROS1 non-small cell lung cancer points. Shares ended the week at $10.35, with a consensus price target of $20.50 and a 52-week range of $4.15 to $11.45.