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Oppenheimer: 2 Stocks That Could Climb Over 100%

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·6 min read
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Markets are taking us all for something of a roller coaster ride in recent sessions, alternating gains and drops in precipitous fashion. There’s no telling exactly what comes next, but some of Wall Street’s sharpest minds are on the job.

One of those sharp minds is John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist and managing director at Oppenheimer. Stoltzfus sees us in the preparatory phases of further market gains, and he goes to great lengths to explain his outlook. While he agrees that we have not yet succeeded in putting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis fully behind us, he points out that the data indicate a resilient economy.

Stoltzfus starts with the Treasury bond market, which he describes as ‘normalizing.’ Yes, yields are up in recent days from historic lows reached late last summer, but the strategist sees this as evidence that “as the pandemic crisis begins to ebb better times are likely ahead for the US economy.”

Stoltzfus goes on to the recent earnings season. Of the corporate earnings reports, Stoltzfus says, “With 97% of companies in the S&P 500 having reported profits are up 5.37% on the back of 2.47% revenue growth—a much stronger result than had been anticipated by consensus analytics at the start of the season.”

But solid earnings results are not the only support Stoltzfus offers for his view that better times are ahead of us. Stoltzfus points out the rising price of oil, noting that its year-to-date rise has coincided with the spreading vaccination campaigns and the prospect of economic reopening, and he notes copper. In his words, “The rise in copper prices serves as a sign that expectations are for global growth to accelerate as the world moves out from under the pandemic.”

Against this backdrop, one of Stoltzfus’s colleagues at Oppenheimer, 5-star analyst Kevin DeGeeter, has followed up and tapped two stocks that he as primed for big gains in a market rebound, gains on the order of 100% or better. We ran the two through TipRanks database to see what other Wall Street's analysts have to say about them.

Evaxion Biotech (EVAX)

The first Oppenheimer pick we’re looking at is Evaxion, a biotech company that uses proprietary AI-immunology platforms to develop novel immunotherapies for the treatment of various cancers and infectious diseases. The company currently has two immunotherapy candidates in the clinical trial stage for several cancers, and two other candidates in pre-clinical research.

Evaxion went public on the NASDAQ in early February, announcing the pricing of the IPO on February 4 and closing the offering on February 10. The shares were priced at $10 each, the lower end of the range, and the company put 3 million shares on the market, raising gross proceeds of $30 million.

The key point to Evaxion, as far as investors are concerned, are the two candidates in Phase IIa clinical trials. The candidates, EVX-01 and EVX-02, are designed to be patient-specific treatments for non-small-cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, and various types of melanoma. Results for both candidates’ studies are expected in the first half of 2021.

DeGeeter initiated coverage on this stock in early March, basing his optimism on “1) Artificial Intelligence-driven immunology platform generating a broad portfolio; 2) personalized cancer vaccines, EVX-01 and EVX-02, with two important Phase I/IIa updates in 2Q21; 3) capital-efficient business mode…” At the bottom line, DeGeeter writes, “We view EVAX as an AI platform story with multiple differentiated programs either in early-stage human studies or nearing clinical development. Our near term focus is on the oncology platform…”

In line with his upbeat outlook, DeGeeter rates EVAX an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $18 price target implies a robust upside of 157% for the coming year. (To watch DeGeeter’s track record, click here)

DeGeeter’s review is one of two that have been published on EVAX, but both are Buys, making the consensus here a Moderate Buy. The stock is selling for $7, and the average price target is $18, the same as DeGeeter’s. (See EVAX stock analysis on TipRanks)

Sensei Biotherapeutics (SNSE)

For the second stock on our short list from Oppenheimer, we’re staying in the biotech industry. Like Evaxion above, Sensei Biotherapeutics is an immunotherapy research company with a focus on cancer treatments; what makes Sensei different is its platform, using a bacteriophage to deliver the therapeutic agent and trigger an immune response in the patient.

In another similarity to Evaxion, Sensei held its IPO in February. The company put 7 million shares of common stock on the market, at a price of $19 per share, and closed its first day’s trading at $18.90. The IPO grossed a total of $152.6 million, and the company now boasts a market cap of $418 million.

That company's leading candidate, SNS-301, is an experimental cancer vaccine that targets the overexpression of aspartyl beta hydroxylase (ASPH) in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. The product is in Phase I/II development, and preliminary data demonstrated long duration of response, including 30+ weeks disease stability in 2 patients. Further data is expected in the second half of this year.

In his note initiating coverage on Sensei Biotherapeutics, DeGeeter takes an optimistic view.

“We view SNSE's ImmunoPhage immuno-oncology platform as offering important differentiation based on 1) potential to easily combine low-cost off-the-shelf and personalized neoepitopes in a single product, 2) self-adjuvant profile of ImmunoPhage, and 3) rapid turnaround time of ~four weeks for personalized neoepitope production. Our positive outlook is based on potential for Phase I/II study of SNS-301 ASPH ImmunoPhage to demonstrate clinically meaningful benefit in first-line treatment and neoadjuvant head and neck cancer settings based on improved durability of response,” DeGeeter commented.

To this end, DeGeeter puts an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on SNSE shares, along with a $36 price target that indicates potential for ~141% upside over the next 12 months. (To watch DeGeeter’s track record, click here)

Sensei has only been a public company for a few weeks, but in that time it has attracted 4 analyst reviews – all are Buys, making the analyst consensus view a unanimous Strong Buy. Shares are priced at $14.95 and have an average price target of $29.50, which implies a one-year upside of ~97%. (See SNSE 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.