Investing

4 First-Half Growth Stock Winners Are Top Picks for the Rest of 2020

Increasingly, the Wall Street firms we cover agree that while the future is still bright for the U.S. economy, despite the current issues, the next five years may be one of stock market gains much lower than the norm has been over the past 11 years. When that is the case, then investing strategies often shift from indexing to more disciplined stock picking. That’s when investors need solid growth ideas.

Jefferies highlights the firm’s top growth stocks to buy each week, and this week is no exception. The team has reviewed the outlook for second-quarter results, and they are very positive on some of the biggest and most powerful technology and momentum giants. We found four that look like solid picks for more aggressive growth investors.

While all these stocks are rated Buy at Jefferies, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Amgen

This biotech giant remains a top stock for investors to buy and a safe way to play the massive potential growth in biosimilars. Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) has been a biotechnology pioneer since 1980 and has grown to be one of the world’s leading independent biotech companies. It has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.

Amgen develops, manufactures and markets biologic therapies for oncology and inflammation. The company’s five key marketed products are among the top-selling pharmaceutical products in the world, with expected collective revenues of more than $25 billion in 2020.

Jefferies has remained bullish for years and noted this:

We were out with a second quarter preview for large cap biotech, and expect the quarter to mark the COVID-related bottom. With that likely well-understood, we believe the key takeaway for investors will be largely positive results, demonstrating resilience of biotech during COVID, and realigning focus on pipelines and key readouts in second half. That said, we think Amgen could either: 1) raise its 2020 guidance or 2) tighten it towards the upper-end, given the recent Enbrel appeal decision favoring Amgen increases sales visibility as early as 2020.

This is consistent with our thesis that the company could see inflows in the second half due to: 1) pivotal phase 2 AMG510 KRAS lung cancer topline data around Sep/Oct; 2) Phase 3 tezepelumab asthma data year-end 2020 and 3) Phase 3 omecamtiv heart failure data.

Shareholders receive a 2.44% dividend. The Jefferies price target is $285, and the Wall Street consensus target is $256.08. Amgen stock closed Tuesday at $257.91 a share.

Haemonetics

This has been touted as a potential takeover target, as it may be a very solid fit for a big medical devices player. Haemonetics Corp. (NYSE: HAE) provides products for processing, handling and analysis of blood.

The company offers plasma collection and storage products, including PCS brand plasma collection equipment and disposables, plasma collection containers and intravenous solutions, as well as information technology platforms for plasma customers to manage their donors, operations and supply chain.

Jefferies has remained positive for years on this one as well and said this:

We were out with an update ahead of fiscal first quarter earnings. We expect investors to be focused on: 1) NA plasma volume growth impacts from Covid-19; 2) NexSys performance; 3) the trajectory of savings following recent divestitures and 4) early views on potential Ig competition. While our cellphone foot traffic data showed that pings trended down 30-60% year over year in the April-June time-frame, monthly traffic was +18% in June vs. May, suggesting a notable reversal. In addition, we pointed out that the decline in donor volumes thus far, coupled with a resurgence in Covid-19 cases will further exacerbate an already stretched Ig supply situation. As a result, the NexSys value proposition is now greatly enhanced due to the pandemic, which we expect to translate to further near-term upgrades. We took our fiscal 2021 estimate lower, to reflect the divestitures and steeper than expected declines, but we see upside potential from follow-on contracts with updated pricing.

Jefferies has a stunning $165 price target, while the consensus target is $130.33 Haemonetics stock closed at $90.74 on Tuesday.