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Beam Therapeutics

Reporting first thing Wednesday, biotech firm Beam Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BEAM) came public in early February 2020 at $17 a share. Since then the stock is up about 480%, including a spike to an increase of some 600% less than six weeks ago. The company’s gene-editing process was validated by a study conducted by its competitors, and that sent the shares soaring briefly. Among the believers in the stock is Cathie Wood, and her ARK Invest funds hold about 6.5 million Beam shares altogether, valued at around $721 million.

Five brokerages have Buy ratings on the stock and four others rate the stock a Hold. The stock trades at around $107.30 and has outrun its median price target of $98.50. At the high price target of $150, the stock’s potential upside is nearly 40%.

June-quarter revenue is forecast at $8.33 million, up from just $10,000 in the first quarter. The consensus estimate calls for an adjusted loss per share of $0.74, far better than the $3.35 per share loss in the first quarter. For the full year, current estimates call for a loss per share of $5.11 (worse than the year-ago loss of $4.19) and revenue of $9.30 million, light years ahead of last year’s total revenue of $20,000.

Beam is not expected to post a profit in 2021, 2022 or 2023. No other forecasts are available. The stock’s 52-week range is $21.24 to $138.52, and the company does not pay a dividend.

Berkeley Lights

Another small biotech firm, Berkeley Lights Inc. (NASDAQ: BLI), also reports results Wednesday morning. The company came public in mid-July of 2020 at $22 a share, but the first trade of the day took place at $51.50. The stock bounced around before posting its all-time high in late December. Since then, shares have dropped to where they now trade about 30% below their opening day closing price of $65.45. ARK Invest funds own 6.66 million shares, valued at around $312.35 million.

The stock is lightly covered, with five brokerages assigning a Buy or Strong Buy rating to the stock and two more rating the shares a Hold. At a trading price of around $45.50, the stock’s potential upside based on a median price target of $74 is 62.6%. At the high target of $100, the upside potential is 120%.

Second-quarter revenue is forecast at $19.64 million, up 5.4% sequentially and nearly double year over year. The loss per share is forecast at $0.23, a penny better than the first-quarter loss, and three cents worse than the year-ago loss. For the full year, the loss per share is estimated at $0.87, $0.52 per share better than the year-ago loss, and revenue is expected to rise by about 43% to $91.87 million.

Berkeley Lights is not expected to post a profit in 2021, 2022 or 2023. The company’s EV/S ratio for 2021 is 30.0, for 2022 is 20.8 and for 2023 is 16.1. The stock’s 52-week range is $35.51 to $113.53, and the company does not pay a dividend.

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