Oppenheimer: These 2 Stocks Could Double, If Not More
It’s the final countdown. With the U.S. Presidential election only two weeks away, election year stress is making the rounds on Wall Street, but one pro argues that regardless of the outcome, opportunity could emerge.Oppenheimer’s Chief Investment Strategist John Stoltzfus notes that in the last leg of the race to the White House, “the markets appear to be signaling that no matter how loud the rhetoric gets from either side and no matter which side wins, investment opportunity in some form is likely to prevail over risk beyond inauguration day in January 2021.” He added, “In our experience opportunity often arises from uncertainty while a perception of ‘certainty’ often breeds complacency.”As for Q3 earnings season, it’s already surprising to the upside. Although it’s still too early to tell how the season will play out, Stoltzfus says “so far so good.” Data from the past weekend shows 84% of companies that already reported have beat earnings expectations and 82% have exceeded revenue expectations for the quarter. Taking Stoltzfus’ outlook into consideration, Oppenheimer’s analysts are pounding the table on two under-the-radar stocks, noting that each could double or more in the next year. Using TipRanks’ database, we found out that the rest of the Street is also on board, as each boasts a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.NeuBase Therapeutics (NBSE)Developing the next generation of gene-silencing therapies with its flexible, highly specific synthetic antisense oligonucleotides, NeuBase Therapeutics wants to improve the lives of patients everywhere. Based on the strength of its platform, Oppenheimer thinks big things could be in store.Firm analyst Hartaj Singh highlights the company’sPeptide-nucleic acid (PNA) AnTisense OLigonucleotide (PATrOL) platform, which enables rapid drug design to treat various medical abnormalities, systemic delivery (IV), blood-brain barrier penetration, increased cell permeability, access to genomic loci and secondary RNA structures and the development of highly selective therapies, as overcoming the technical limitations to first-generation antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs).“We believe that in the profound potential of ASOs to treat diseases, the current field of first-gen therapies has created a ‘hurdle’ for a company like NBSE, whereby its technical advantages to ASOs through its PATrOL platform could lead to therapies with a better risk/benefit profile,” Singh explained.Additionally, the long-tail redistribution of NBSE’s PNAs could have significant implications in terms of the dosing regimens for these agents (potentially weeks to months). Singh mentioned, “In combination with the enhanced druggability of targets via PNAs, we continue to view the PATrOL platform’s potential highly, with the customary attention reserved for safety on such novel medicines.”After the first half of 2020 “helped shine additional validation” on this platform, the company remains on track with its lead Huntington’s disease (HD) candidate, NT0100. Additional preclinical results and candidate selection are set to come by YE20.Looking at the available preclinical NHP data, it supports broad biodistribution and rapid tissue uptake following systemic (IV) administration, an important feature of the platform, according to Singh. “As the delivery of therapeutics and their penetration of deep brain structures remain of paramount importance for diseases such as HD, we are encouraged leading up to additional PD data from preclinical models (Q4 2020)… Despite the early nature of these preclinical NHP PK data and in-vitro PD data, we believe that they strongly validate the approach NeuBase has taken to truly develop a ‘better mousetrap,’ and differentiate its technology from conventional ASOs,” he commented.These features are inheritable across the class of PNAs NeuBase hopes to bring forward, and thus, Singh has high hopes for NT0200, its product for HD and myotonic dystrophy (DM1). DM1 is trailing the HD program by approximately six months. Following candidate selection in 1H21, IND-enabling studies could kick off. Everything that NBSE has going for it prompted Singh to leave his Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating as is. Along with the call, he keeps the price target at $17, suggesting 104% upside potential. (To watch Singh’s track record, click here)Are other analysts in agreement? They are. Only Buy ratings, 4 to be exact, have been issued in the last three months. Therefore, the message is clear: NBSE is a Strong Buy. Given the $16.50 average price target, shares could soar 97% in the next year. (See NBSE stock analysis on TipRanks)Prevail Therapeutics (PRVL)Next up we have Prevail Therapeutics, which is developing disease-modifying gene therapies for patients with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. After an impressive update on the progress of its pipeline, Oppenheimer likes what it’s seeing.Representing the firm, analyst Jay Olson highlights the encouraging data from the Phase 1/2a PROPEL trial evaluating its lead candidate, PR001, in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients with the GBA1 mutation (PD-GBA). This mutation affects roughly 9% of all PD patients in the U.S.Looking more closely at the trial, it enrolled two patients, with preliminary data demonstrating normalization of CSF GCase activity at month-three from undetectable levels at baseline. According to Olson, this strongly suggests clinical improvement. It should be noted that there were serious adverse events (SAEs) at month-three, likely related to immune response to AAV9 capsid, that resolved. However, the analyst argues the immune response in AAV9 gene therapies is normal and transient.Additionally, PRVL submitted a protocol amendment for the PROPEL trial, and enrollment is expected to continue in 2H20. The company wants to change the design to an open-label study targeting 12 patients, including the two current patients, and plans to optimize the immunosuppresive regimen to spare steroid administration. To this end, two-month safety and biomarker data in a subset of patients is set to come by mid-2021. Should the therapy ultimately be approved for this indication, Olson sees possible 2035 risk-unadjusted sales of $8 billion.On top of this, a normalization of CSF GCase activity at month-four from undetectable levels at baseline was also seen in a Gaucher disease (GD2) patient on PR001 within compassionate use program. This rare inherited lysosomal disorder is also caused by autosomal recessive inheritance in the GBA1 gene.In Olson’s opinion, this result provided positive read across to the Phase 1/2 PROVIDE study in GD2, initiating in 2H20. “Because GD2 is an ultrarare disease that affects infants and results in a very short life expectancy, we believe the GD2 indication has a shorter regulatory pathway compared to other GBA1-related indications. We estimate PR001 approval, if clinically successful, may happen in 2024 given a lack of treatments for GD2 patients,” he mentioned. What’s more, the Phase 1/2 PROCLAIM study of PR006, its therapy for GRN frontotemporal dementia (GRN-FTD), is expected to kick off in 2H20, with the two-month biomarker readout from a subset of patients slated for late 2020 or early 2021.Given all of the above, Olson stated, “We view share price at an attractive entry point while PRVL remains well-capitalized with $131 million in cash providing runway into 1H22.”It should come as no surprise, then, that Olson stays with the bulls. In addition to an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating, he left a $25 price target on the stock. Investors could be pocketing a gain of 156%, should this target be met in the twelve months ahead. (To watch Olson’s track record, click here)All in all, other analysts echo Olson’s sentiment. 5 Buys and no Holds or Sells add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. With an average price target of $23.25, the upside potential comes in at 139%. (See PRVL stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.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.