The investing game is rarely plain sailing. While no doubt investors would like the choices that make up their portfolio to always go up, the reality is more complicated. There are periods when even shares of the world’s most successful companies have been on a downward trajectory for one reason or another.
While it’s no fun watching a stock you own drift to the bottom, any savvy investor knows that if the company’s fundamentals are sound to begin with, the pullback is often a gift in disguise. This is where the chance for strong returns really comes into play. “Buy the Dip” is not a cliché without reason.
With this in mind, we scoured the TipRanks database and picked out 3 names which have been heading south recently, specifically ones pinpointed by those in the know as representing a buying opportunity. What’s more, all 3 are rated Strong Buys by the analyst consensus and projected to rake in at least 70% of gains over the next 12 months. Here are the details.
Flexion Therapeutics (FLXN)
Let’s first take a look at Flexion, a pharma company specializing in the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. The company has two drugs currently in early-stage clinical trials but one which has already been approved by the FDA; Zilretta is an extended-release corticosteroid for the management of osteoarthritis knee pain. The drug was granted regulatory approval in 2017, and Flexion owns the exclusive worldwide rights.
FLXN stock has found 2021 hard going and is down by 30% year-to-date. However, the “recent weakness,” says Northland analyst Carl Byrnes has created a “unique buying opportunity.”
Like many biopharmas, Flexion’s marketing efforts took a hit during the height of the pandemic last year, as shutdowns and restrictions impacted its operations. However, Byrnes anticipates Zilretta to exhibit “stellar growth in 2021 and beyond.”
“We remain highly confident that the demand for ZILRETTA will continue to strengthen, bolstered by product awareness and positive clinical experiences of both patients and HCP, augmented by improvements in HCP interactions and deferral of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) surgical procedures,” the analyst said.
Byrnes expects Zilretta’s 2021 sales to surge by 45% year-over-year to $125 million, and then increase by a further 50% to $187.5 million the following year.
That revenue growth will go hand in hand with massive share appreciation; Byrne’s price target is $35, suggesting upside of ~339% over the next 12 months. Needless to say Byrne’s rating is an Outperform (i.e. Buy). (To watch Byrnes’ track record, click here)
Barring one lone Hold, all of Byrne’s colleagues agree. With 9 Buys, FLXN stock boasts a Strong Buy consensus rating. While not as optimistic as Byrne’s objective, the $20.22 average price target is still set to yield returns of an impressive 153% within the 12-month time frame. (See FLXN stock analysis on TipRanks)
Protara Therapeutics (TARA)
Staying in the pharma industry, next up we have Protara. Unlike Flexion, the cancer and rare disease-focused biotech has no therapies approved yet. However, the picture should soon become clear regarding the timing of a BLA (biologics license application) for TARA-002, the company’s investigational cell therapy for a rare pediatric indication - lymphatic malformations (LM).
TARA-002 is based on the immunopotentiator OK-432, currently approved as Picibanil in Japan and Taiwan for the treatment of multiple cancer indications as well as LM. Currently, Protara is seeking to get the FDA’s acceptance that TARA-002 is comparable to OK-432. If everything goes according to plan, the company anticipates potential BLA filing in H2:2021 and potential approval in H1:2022.
Protara shares have tumbled 40% year-to-date. That said, Guggenheim analyst Etzer Darout believes the stock is significantly undervalued.
“We estimate risk-adjusted peak sales of ~$170M (75% PoS) in the US alone (biologics exclusivity to 2034-2035),” the 5-star analyst said. “The company has outlined a ‘no additional study scenario’ that estimates a US launch in 2022 and an ‘additional registration study’ scenario that estimates a 2023 launch and we see current levels as a buying opportunity ahead of regulatory clarity on LM.”
Furthermore, Tara is expected to submit an IND (investigational new drug) for a Phase 1 trial for TARA-002 in 2H21 for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Darout notes 80% (~65K) of all newly diagnosed bladder cancer patients suffer from this specific condition including ~45% “that are high grade with high unmet need.”
The company also owns IV Choline, a Phase 3-ready asset, for which the FDA has already granted both Orphan Drug Designation and Fast Track Designation for IFALD (intestinal failure-associated liver disease).
Based on all of the above, Darout rates TARA a Buy and has a $48 price target for the shares. The implication for investors? Upside of a strong 225%. (To watch Darout’s track record, click here)
Overall, with 3 recent Buy ratings under its belt, TARA gets a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus view. The stock is backed by an optimistic average price target, too; at $43.67, the shares are anticipated to appreciate by ~198% in the year ahead. (See TARA stock analysis on TipRanks)
Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF)
Last but not least is Green Thumb, a leading US cannabis MSO (multi state operator). This Chicago-based company is one of the stalwarts of the rising cannabis sector, boasting the second highest market-cap in the industry and exhibiting impressive growth over the last year. In 2020, revenue increased by 157% from 2019, to reach $556.6 million.
That said, despite delivering another excellent quarterly statement in March, and being well-positioned to capitalize on additional states legalizing cannabis, the stock has pulled back recently after the company was hit by a damning Chicago Tribune article.
According to Chicago Tribune, the company is being investigated by the fed over "pay to play" payments regarding the procurement of cannabis licenses in Illinois. Countering the claims, GTBIF management said the allegations are unfounded and that there is no factual evidence to support them. Furthermore, the company pointed out it has not even been contacted by the authorities regarding the matter.
Who to believe, then? It’s an easy choice, according to Roth Capital’s Scott Fortune.
“We believe these tenuous claims create an opportunity to own the best-in-class operator currently off 25% from recent highs,” the 5-atar analyst opined. “In our view, the GTI business and track record of execution is not at risk in terms of the seemingly baseless accusations. We will continue to monitor any new additional incremental evidence potentially surfacing but believe the allegations are unfounded. We believe the upside opportunity remains compelling at these levels.”
Going by Fortune’s $45 price target, shares will be changing hands for a 70% premium a year from now. Fortune’s rating remains a Buy. (To watch Fortune’s track record, click here)
The negative news has done little to dampen enthusiasm around this stock on Wall Street. The analyst consensus rates GTBIF a Strong Buy, based on a unanimous 12 Buys. The average price target, at $47.71, suggests an upside of 79% over the next 12 months. (See GTBIF 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.