Investing

As Coronavirus Spreads, Sensitive China, US, Global Economies Face Great Risks

As with almost all pandemic scares and other national and global issues, some speculative stocks manage to see their shares rise sharply. As many of these companies are under a $50 million or $100 million basic size threshold, some of them have been overlooked or omitted. And if history repeats itself, many of the companies that see huge surges from related news often come back to earth.

Lakeland Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: LAKE) is not a biotech, but it occasionally gets to play tag-team when there are biotech movers or biohazard situations around major diseases and industrial waste issues. After all, it makes self-contained industrial protective clothing and containment suits for hazmat and all sorts of applications. Lakeland’s share price jumped just over 25% to $13.77 on Tuesday, but even a 5% gain on Friday made for a $13.74 closing price. This was at $10.97 as of the prior week’s close, and its new market cap is just $110 million.

Allied Healthcare Products Inc. (NASDAQ: AHPI) saw its shares surge 93% to $2.90 on Friday, but it barely has an $11 million market cap, and it only just recently regained Nasdaq listing compliance. Among its breathing and respiratory products are facemasks and other products.

Alpha Pro Tech Ltd. (NYSE: APT) makes masks and disposable protective apparel, and its shares rose almost 18% to $6.00 on Friday to end with a $78 million market cap. That’s a 71% gain from the $3.50 share price the prior week, and the more than 26 million shares that traded this last week as a whole (more than 6.5 million average each day) compares with a typical trading volume 10,000 to 20,000 shares before that.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) managed to slide back from highs earlier in the week with a 6% drop to $2.81 on Friday, but the $2.75 price from the prior week rose to as much as $3.35 earlier in the week. BioCryst has a $432 million market cap, and its galidesivir is being tested in Phase 1 studies for multiple viruses, including coronaviruses.

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) often sees its shares surge around global health and pandemic scares. While it rose not even 2% to $7.80 on Friday, this $250 million market cap stock was trading at less than $6 a week earlier.

Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA), which was the largest biotech IPO in America, closed down 1.6% at $21.12 on Friday, with a market cap of $7 billion. This company’s stock rose to as much as $23 after the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) gave funding to accelerate its work on a coronavirus vaccine.

Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS) is targeting the MERS coronavirus and exploring to adapt its treatment to the current Wuhan strain. Cerus closed up just 2% at $4.57 on Friday, with a $650 million market cap, but that is up from $4.07 the prior week.

Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) fell 7% to $1.88 on Friday, with barely a $32 million market cap, but that was up more than 50% from earlier in the week. It may have been higher except that it sold shares to raise capital at a deep discount in a share offering. The company is preparing a coronavirus test.

Vir Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ: VIR) saw its shares rise 17.5% to $19.95 on Friday, impressive enough for a $2.3 billion market cap, but that is up 23% from its lows of the week. The company has an antibody for another coronavirus strain, and management is said to be testing to determine if it is effective against this Wuhan strain.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) closed up 10% at $4.24 with a $424 million market cap on Friday, but that’s up a total of more than 28% from the close of the prior week. Inovio has been selected by the CEPI with a grant of up to $9 million to develop a vaccine against the recently emerged strain of coronavirus.

NanoViricides Inc. (NASDAQ: NNVC) saw a whopping 54.5% gain on Friday alone, but it’s still just a $32 million market cap. This stock rose over 150% in the last week, despite having closed on an $8.6 million public stock offering at just $3.00 per share. The company is targeting nano-medicines targeting swine and avian flu, as well as Dengue and Ebola.

An image from the CIA World Factbook shows a map of China to show Wuhan’s positioning in the country, in relation to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Source: CIA World Factbook