Analysts say these 3 stocks are their top pick for 2021
Remember in February we were worried about a market correction? When the NASDAQ fell 10% from its peak … Yeah, well, never mind. Markets have been up, up, up lately. Last Friday’s strong jobs report helped, showing 916,000 new job openings in March, the best print since last August and nearly a quarter million above expectations. Emerging markets are a good time to take a look at the “best deals” of Wall Street stock analysts. The three stocks we are looking at represent an interesting lot, and they have certain things in common: the Strong Buy consensus rating, tangible upside potential for investors, and a Top Pick rating. Using the TipRanks database, we pulled the details of these promotions to find out what makes them so compelling. Here are the results. Ascendis Pharma (ASND) First of all, Ascendis Pharma is a growing biotechnology company specializing in rare diseases in endocrinology. The company is actively involved in clinical trials of three candidate drugs for the treatment of endocrine diseases, including growth hormone deficiency in children and adults, hypoparathyroidism in adults and achondroplasia. The company is developing its drugs using TransCon technology, which allows proteins, peptides and small molecules to be directly applied to target specific areas of the body using a carrier drug with known biological effects. In addition to its core product, Ascendis also has two cancer drug candidates in preclinical development. TransCon HGH (lonapegsomatropin), a drug for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency in children, has completed Phase 3 trials, and the company is gearing up for a PDUFA date in late June – pending a commercial launch in the US at the end of June. Q3 21 Ascendis is awaiting a European Commission decision on the use of lonapeggsomatropin in 4Q21. A global Phase 3 trial for adults with GHD is currently underway, full trial enrollment is expected by early next year, and Ascendis has submitted a clinical trial notice to begin a Phase 3 trial for pediatric patients in Japan. In addition, the company is preparing for a Phase 3 clinical trial of TransCon PTH, a drug for the treatment of adult hypoparathyroidism. The company expects better results in 4Q21. As stated above, the company is also submitting a Q2 21 year notice of clinical trials in Japan. With all of this in the backstory, Wedbush analyst Liana Mussatos has listed ASND as one of her best picks for 2021. “In 2021, we are looking forward to 1) TC-hGH / Pediatric Growth Hormone (GHD; lonapegsomatropin) deficiency June 25, 2021, PDUFA Date; 2) potential TC-hGH / GHD MAA approval in Q4: 21; and 3) the upper line resulting from the main phase 3 PaTHway for TCPTH in adult hypoparathyroidism (HP) in Q4: 21. We regard these events as potential inflection points for stocks. We expect 2021 to be a year of transformation for Ascendis ahead of several potential value creation events, ”said Moussatos. Consistent with these comments, Moussatos rates ASND stock as best (ie buy) and sets a target price of $ 209, which indicates upside potential of 60% within one year. (To view Moussatos’ track record, click here) Moussatos is no exception on Ascendis; this stock had 6 recent reviews, 5 of which was Buy and 1 was Hold. The stock is priced at $ 130.63, and its average target price of $ 191.25 suggests a 46% rise over the next 12 months. (See TipRanks’ ASND Stock Analysis) AlloVir (ALVR) The next company on our list, AlloVir, is another leading biotech company. AlloVir specializes in the development of off-the-shelf allogeneic virus-specific candidate T cells. These are drugs specifically designed to prevent or treat viral infections in immunocompromised and T-cell deficient patients, as well as limited treatment options. The company’s portfolio includes five candidate agents to treat twelve “devastating” viruses, including HHV-6, EBV, PIV, HBV, and even COVID-19. The most advanced drug candidate in development, ALVR105, also called Viralim-M, is being tested for a number of applications, including the treatment of virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and adenovirus (AdV). In addition, clinical trials of the candidate drug are being carried out as a means of preventing BKV, CMV, AdV, EBV, HHV-6 and other viral diseases. Clinical trials range from phase 1b / 2 to phase 3. The company’s lead candidate, Viralym-M, is in an ongoing phase 3 trial to treat virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis. The company is also testing Viralim-M in two pilot trials in Phase 2. These include a clinical trial of a drug candidate as a first-of-its-kind multiviral prophylactic agent for HSCT recipients and a study of the drug in the treatment of BK viremia in kidney transplant patients. These trials are ongoing and are actively recruiting patients. Besides ALVR105 / Viralym-M, the next two most advanced programs of the company are ALVR 109 and ALVR106. ALVR109 has entered Phase 1 confirmatory clinical trials as a treatment for COVID-19. Preclinical data published in December showed disease-specific antiviral activity. For ALVR 106, a new research drug (IND) has been approved and clinical trials have been approved for the treatment of PIV and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. In his review of this action for Piper Sandler, five-star analyst Christopher Raymond writes: “[All] important deadlines are largely met. For us, the most important of these are Phase 2 POC data for Viralym-M in a prophylactic setting for HSCT patients and Phase 2 POC data for Viralym-M for BK virus treatment in kidney transplant recipients. These two events will continue in 2H21. While we are not modeling the contribution from ALVR109 (in high-risk patients with COVID-19), we note that POC data from this program is also expected in 2H21. ” On the bottom line, Raymond says: “[We] continue to see ALVR as the new leader in virus-specific cell therapy … it remains the top choice in 2021. ” To this end, Raymond gives ALVR an overweight (ie, Buy) rating, and his $ 55 target price implies a sustained upside potential of ~ 132% for the year ahead. (To view Raymond’s track record, click here) Like analyst Piper Sandler, the rest of the street is bullish on ALVR. 3 Buy versus no hold or sell ratings constitute the strong buy consensus rating. The average target price of $ 49.33 suggests ~ 108% upside potential. (See TipRanks’ ALVR Stock Analysis) Western Digital (WDC) From biotech to high tech, we’ll change gear and look at Western Digital. The company manufactures hard drives and other storage devices, including solid state drives and flash memory. Western Digital products are used in data centers and cloud storage; Western Digital includes well-known brands such as WD and SanDisk. As you can imagine, Western Digital has shown a stable business over the past 18 months despite the COVID pandemic. The shift to telecommuting and virtual offices has put computer chips of all kinds, including memory and cloud storage, at the forefront. WDC’s revenues have remained stable over this period, at about $ 4 billion per quarter. Over the past two years, the company has reported quarterly revenues ranging from $ 3.67 billion to $ 4.29 billion; In the final quarter, in the second quarter of fiscal 21, revenues were $ 3.94 billion, with non-GAAP net earnings per share of 69 cents per share and free cash flow of $ 149 million. The company has released a fiscal third quarter forecast for revenues of $ 3.85 billion to $ 4.05 billion and non-GAAP earnings per share of $ 55 to 75 cents. Investors love predictability, and Western Digital’s numbers have been that way. The company’s shares are up 87% in the past 12 months. This is a modest advantage over the NASDAQ, which rose 73% over the same period. CJ Muse, a 5-star analyst at Evercore ISI, digs deep under the hood of Western Digital and sums it up: “While WDC shares are up 25% YTD, we see at least another 30% gain fueled by significant positives. changes, EPS Assessment…. consensus estimates rise substantially with a potential exit rate from CY21 of ~ $ 10+ (spent $ 7.60) and additional upside potential in CY22 (we see an extended target of $ 15.00 versus current spending of $ 7.44 )…. With a growth prospect of at least 30% as the NAND industry emerges from the cyclical downturn, WDC remains the top choice. ” Muse sets a target price of $ 100 for WDC shares, which gives 38% upside over one year. (To view Muse’s track record, click here) Tech companies tend to get a lot of analyst scrutiny, and Western Digital has published 21 recent stock reviews. They split into 17 buys versus just 4 holds, giving the stock a Strong Buy consensus rating. The stock is priced at $ 72.22, with an average target of $ 80.26 suggesting 11% upside potential from that level. (See WDC Stock Analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for trading stocks at attractive valuation, visit TipRanks ‘Best Stocks to Buy,’ a recently launched tool that brings together all TipRanks stock analytics. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the analysts mentioned. The content is for informational purposes only. Before making any investment, it is very important to do your own analysis.