Markets are back at record highs, resuming a year-to-date climb that was temporarily interrupted from mid-February through the first week of March. A series of interrelated factors have worked together to push stock values back up.
First, the economy is reopening. This started last fall, but was slowed by a wave of corona infections during the winter. The rapidly expanding vaccination program has people confident now, and it looks like the US economy is headed for its highest growth rate in several decades. Second, and added to that confidence, consumers are sitting on cash; there are the $1,400 stimulus checks that went out with the COVID-relief bill last month, but also, spending activity in 2020 was so low that household savings are at record high levels. The Biden Administration is also talking about a new infrastructure bill it wants to push through Congress, bringing up the prospect of trillions more in Federal spending. And finally, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it has no intention of pulling back on its long-standing easy-money policies. The result: investors are ready to spend, and stocks are rising.
The gains in the stock market are also underpinned by a flood of positive economic data. The key data point, the one that’s been getting the headlines, is the monthly jobs number – and the recently released March figures showed 916,000 new jobs added last month. That was almost half more than had been expected, and came with upward revisions to January and February that totaled 156,000.
Those gains have the Street’s analysts looking for stocks that are poised to grow with the broader market. Here are two such stock calls; the analysts see them growing about 80% in the year ahead, and recommend buying in now before the price jumps.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG)
Few industries drip money quite as copiously as online gaming. The internet versions of traditional casino games are highly popular, and a successful online casino is a potential gold mine for investors. Golden Nugget Online Gaming is the largest online casino site operating in New Jersey, and has spread its operations to an additional nine states. The company went public through a SPAC merger back in December, and has been trading on the NASDAQ since then.
Being new to the public markets, GNOG hasn’t got a long record of open financial disclosures – but the recent 4Q20 earnings report, the company’s first since completing the SPAC transaction, shows reason for optimism. At the top line, the company had quarterly revenues of $23 million and full year 2020 revenues of $91.1 million; management increased its guidance for FY2021 to the range of $130 million to $145 million, or up 51% at the midpoint from last year’s results.
So, Golden Nugget has a clear path forward. That’s a good thing. Yet, the stock is down ~40% since the SPAC merger completed. One analyst, however, thinks this lower stock price could offer new investors an opportunity to get into GNOG on the cheap.
“The magnitude and productivity prospects of the iGaming market have not been fully appreciated by the Street, in our view, and GNOG’s positioning and product strength have been proven in NJ. GNOG and digital gaming – iGaming, specifically – require long-term vision in general…. The focus on iGaming as a priority is positioned for the next growth chapter of digital gaming. We expect that as seasoned management continues to execute over time as it has in 2020, the Street’s recognition of the merits of pure-play iGaming will become more evident,” Katz explained.
Golden Nugget has slipped under most analysts’ radar; the stock’s Moderate Buy consensus is based on just two recent ratings. With shares trading at $15.10, the $26 average price target suggests room for a 72% upside. (See GNOG stock analysis on TipRanks)
Prometheus Biosciences (RXDX)
The next stock we’re looking at is Prometheus Biosciences, an early-stage clinical research company focused on using precision medicines to target GI and immune-mediated conditions. Specifically, Prometheus is working on new treatments for Crohn’s Disease and Colitis (also called Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD). The company’s pipeline includes three drug candidates, one of which, PRA023, is in Phase 1 trial, while the other are in preclinical phases.
The clinical trial on PRA023 started in December of last year, after receiving the IND acceptance notice from the FDA. Early in March, the company announced that it had commenced dosing patients in the multiple ascending dose (MAD) portion of the Phase 1a clinical study. The current study is ongoing to ‘determine the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of PRA023 in normal healthy volunteers.’
The other big news for Prometheus in March was the company’s IPO. RXDX entered the public markets on March 12, trading on the NASDAQ. The IPO put 11.5 million shares of common stock on the market, and closed its first day trading at $25.29. This was well above the $19 initial price. The gross proceeds from the offering exceeded $218 million.
Prometheus’ approach – using a precision medicine in a select group of patients – has impressed Leerink’s Thomas Smith. The analyst initiated coverage of RXDX with an Outperform rating and $34 price target. This figure indicates room for ~80% upside over the course of the next year. (To watch Smith’s track record, click here)
“A precision medicine strategy has the opportunity to demonstrate superior results in a prescreened population that could translate to accelerated development timelines and increased use with identified patients. Other fields of medicine, most notably oncology, have adopted precision medicine as the central strategy for new drug development. With no precision medicines currently available for IBD, we see considerable excitement for new therapeutics that are rationally designed based on genetic profiling, and we view RXDX as uniquely positioned to drive this strategy,” Smith opined.
All in all, there are two reviews on file for Prometheus and both are to Buy, making the consensus view a unanimous Moderate Buy. Shares in RXDX are currently priced at $18.70, while the $32.25 average target suggests 71% growth from that level on the one-year time horizon. (See RXDX stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.