NYC council member Joseph Borelli on Gov. Andrew Cuomo expecting praise for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
NYC council member Joseph Borelli on Gov. Andrew Cuomo expecting praise for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Bloomberg) -- Corporate insiders unloaded shares of BlackBerry Ltd. amid a frenzy of buying that turned it one of the hottest stocks of the new year.BlackBerry shares rallied about 5% on Friday to extend a seven-day advance to 80%, its biggest such percentage increase since February 2000. Thus far this year, the stock has more than doubled, making it the top performer in the S&P/Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index. The shares closed at their highest price since March 2018 on Thursday.At least two BlackBerry executives sold shares amid the advance, according to filings with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Chief Marketing Officer Mark Wilson on Jan. 20 sold more than $990,000 of BlackBerry stock, reducing his directly owned shares by nearly 60%. Chief Financial Officer Steve Rai also sold nearly $430,000 of the stock on the same day, liquidating all directly owned shares.“The executives traded during an open trading window as permitted under company policy, and all of our executives continue to have strong equity-based incentives through our long-term equity program,” BlackBerry said in a statement to Bloomberg.The insider sales are not a sign that the stock will collapse, according to Jonathan Moreland, an analyst at Insiderinsights.com.“What it suggests is that these very knowledgeable corporate insiders think this is a pretty good price,” he said. “So if you’re a holder, you might consider lightening up a bit.”Much of the stock’s recent advance came after it settled a dispute with Facebook over patent royalties.The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but “may not yield a royalty payment as significant as BlackBerry had originally hoped,” wrote John Butler, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. He speculated that the final accord may possibly “take the form of a cross-licensing agreement, with minimal royalties exchanging hands.”Earlier this month, the Globe and Mail reported that BlackBerry had sold 90 patents to China’s Huawei. In December, the company signed an agreement with Amazon Web Services for an “Intelligent Vehicle Data Platform.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Be wise with how you allocate your money, $730 million Powerball winner.
The financial expert and radio host says these money blunders can be costly.
(Bloomberg) -- In the battle between short-seller Citron Research and an army of Reddit-charged day traders, GameStop Corp.’s seemingly endless rally to an all-time high has given the stock’s bulls a win, though not without controversy.GameStop’s 75% gain through Friday comes after it more than doubled the week before and marks the most volatile 10-day period on record, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The stock was halted at least four times in New York as it surged as much as 79% to $76.76 as Reddit users ran wild. It was was last 44% higher adter trading resumed.At one point, the video-game retailer was the most actively traded U.S. company with a market value above $200 million, data compiled by Bloomberg show, as millions of shares exchanged hands every few minutes.GameStop representatives didn’t return an email seeking comment.Reddit users continued to pump up their bets with one user saying they relied on it to pay their student loans.GameStop’s parabolic rise, which has come amid steady and elevated short interest and increasing volume, has showcased the divide between retail bulls and bears betting on a quick return to reality. More than 134 million shares were traded on Friday, marking the most active day for the company since it went public in 2002.GameStop became a “cult stock because of Ryan Cohen’s success with Chewy” and retail investors “appear confident that he can implement omnichannel initiatives that will materially grow their earnings,” Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said in an email.For the company to be worth $50 a share it would have to quickly double their growth, Pachter, who has a $16 price target which is the second highest among analyst tracked by Bloomberg, continued. In order to give GameStop credit for higher earnings power, Pachter, who rates the stock at neutral, wants to see Cohen’s strategy.Reddit’s ‘Angry Mob’A backlash against Citron by some vocal Reddit users over its views on GameStop came to a head on Friday when the short seller said it will stop commenting on the stock following the actions of “an angry mob.”“We are investors who put safety and family first and when we believe this has been compromised, it is our duty to walk away from a stock,” Citron managing partner Andrew Left wrote in a Friday letter.The statement came a day after Left said in a YouTube video that he’d “never seen such an exchange of ideas of people so angry about someone joining the other side of a trade,” referring in part to Reddit users who have been particularly vocal on the social media site in seeking to promote their positive opinions on the video-game retailer’s stock.GameStop is up 226% in January to date, with its average daily rolling 10-day volatility peaking at the highest level in the nearly two decades the stock has been trading, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Friday’s eye-popping surge fueled its market value above $5 billion at its peak.As the saga played out this week, GameStop fans clashed with Citron after the short seller critiqued shares in a tweet on Tuesday and made plans for a Twitter Inc. livestream the following day. The event was initially pushed back for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and then again on Thursday due to attempts to hack the short-seller’s Twitter account.On Thursday afternoon, Left posted a YouTube video where he discussed the company, detailing five reasons why he thinks shares of the Grapevine, Texas-based company will “go back to $20.” That’s less than a third of the $76.76 the stock was spiked to during Friday’s volatile session.Wall Street analysts have largely stayed quiet amid the stock’s recent bout of volatility. CFRA Research analyst Camilla Yanushevsky reiterated her sell rating on Jan. 15 and credited the bulk of last week’s gains to a short squeeze after activist investor and Chewy Inc. co-founder Ryan Cohen was added to GameStop’s board.Bearish bets have remained steady with 140% of available GameStop shares currently sold short, according to data compiled by S3 Partners. Bears have seen more than $1.74 billion mark-to-market losses this year, according to the financial analytics firm.“While older existing shorts have been covering some of their positions due to a profit-loss based short squeeze, there is a queue of new short sellers wanting to get short exposure in GME after its recent run-up,” Ihor Dusaniwsky, S3’s managing director of predictive analytics, said by email.(Adds additional commentary starting in the third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Thanks to vagaries of the accounting world, Donald Trump’s administration had a chance in the final weeks of the presidential race to cancel more than $200 billion of student loans with no immediate hit to the Department of Education’s massive portfolio. Yet it didn’t do it.Now, perhaps Joe Biden will.For years, bean counters at the department have been writing down the value of its $1.4 trillion portfolio of student debt as they adopted ever-more-pessimistic views of how much borrowers will repay. In September, the analysts made their biggest adjustment yet, valuing loans at just 82 cents on every dollar owed, down from 104 cents in 2015, records show. The debt is now worth $258 billion less than the amount outstanding.Had officials under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos decided to identify some of the borrowers least likely to repay, and then forgiven those debts, it wouldn’t have put a major dent in the remaining portfolio’s value. Such losses were, theoretically, already reflected anyway.By Wall Street standards, the government’s loan writedowns are gigantic, amounting to $98 billion in September alone. While they have gone virtually unnoticed in the political realm so far, they are almost sure to attract attention now, as consumer advocates urge Biden’s new administration to ease the burden on young professionals and jump-start the pandemic-stricken economy.Some are starting to ask: If the government doesn’t expect to collect hundreds of billions of dollars from borrowers, why not try to erase it now?“Betsy DeVos has already decided that a bunch of this debt is not going to be paid back,” said Mike Pierce, director of policy at the nonprofit Student Borrower Protection Center and a former official at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “That makes it much easier for the Biden administration to justify canceling.”The Education Department didn’t respond to messages seeking comment both before and after the change in administration.Loans or RentShortly after his inauguration as U.S. president on Wednesday, Biden asked the department to extend his predecessor’s pandemic policy of waiving interest and to continue letting borrowers skip monthly payments on government-owned student loans until at least the end of September. About 24 million borrowers have stopped payments, department data show.Biden has expressed sympathy for borrowers but suggested he’s reluctant to wipe away debt without an act of Congress. In November, he said student-loan burdens are “holding people up. They’re in real trouble. They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying their rent.”While Wall Street often values its debt holdings based on the prices they would fetch in the market, the government’s markdowns mainly reflect “amounts not expected to be recovered.” From a valuation perspective, that means there wouldn’t be much immediate difference between forgiving doomed loans and waiting for borrowers to turn out their empty pockets.Still, there’s the issue of moral hazard: If authorities offer relief to struggling borrowers, it could create an incentive for others to stop repaying too, causing more of the portfolio to sour.Rush for ReliefMuch of the gap between what is owed and what the government reckons will be repaid stems from loan programs that cap monthly payments relative to borrowers’ incomes. Income-based repayment plans promise the possibility of loan forgiveness after two decades of steady payment, or one decade for public-service workers. As annual borrower defaults climbed past 1 million, Barack Obama’s administration made the repayment plans increasingly generous. Enrollment has tripled since 2014.The anticipated cost of income-based plans has risen, too. The Education Department recently realized borrowers in the plans were earning “substantially” less than it had forecast. So the government cut its projections of borrowers’ future income by 35%, boosting the estimated tab to be forgiven in later years.“There already is significant loan forgiveness,” said Constantine Yannelis, who researches student debt and teaches finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. “We’re just talking about moving it up or giving it to borrowers who wouldn’t qualify for it under current rules.”Yannelis said he recently found that debt owed by lower-income borrowers had a lower present value to the federal government than debt owed by high-income borrowers.Rising OddsAcross-the-board loan cancellations make little sense, but the government has all the information it needs to target forgiveness, said Adam Looney, a finance professor at the University of Utah whose research on student loans dates to his time as a tax official at the U.S. Treasury Department. In fact, he said, the Education Department’s own valuation reflects a belief the government will eventually cancel large amounts owed by people earning little or at least too little relative to their debts.Forgiving loans could encourage future students to over-borrow on the hope that their debts will be wiped away, advisers to the federal consumer bureau warned in a report this month. And that could, in turn, remove some of the pressure on colleges to lower their costs.But there is a growing expectation in the public anyway that relief is coming. In a December survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, respondents estimated there is a 39% chance -- more than ever in five years of polling -- that the federal government will cancel some amount of student loans over the next year.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
With the Biden Administration likely to pump trillions into green energy infrastructure in the coming years, renewable stocks should outperform the market
Ford Motor Co. stock gets an upgrade to buy from J.P. Morgan on expectations for the auto maker's 'incoming tide of hot new products.'
EVgo, which runs one of the largest electric-vehicle fast-charging public networks in the U.S., is set to go public via a blank-check firm.
The taxes you owe on your 401(k) distributions at retirement depend in large part on whether your funds are in a traditional 401(k) or a Roth 401(k).
Big Tech has been in the news lately, and not necessarily for the right reasons. Accusations of corporate censorship have hit the headlines in recent weeks. While serious, this may have a salutary effect – the public discussion of Big Tech’s role in our digital lives is long overdue. And that discussion will get underway just as the Q4 and full-year 2020 financial numbers start coming in. Of the FAANG stocks, Netflix has already reported; the other four will release results in the next two weeks. So, the upcoming earnings will garner well-deserved attention, and Wall Street’s best analysts are already publishing their views on some of the market’s most important components. Using TipRanks’ database, we pulled up the details on two members of the FAANG club to find out how the Street thinks each will fare when they publish their fourth quarter numbers. According to the platform, both have received plenty of love from the analysts, earning a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. Facebook (FB) Let’s start with Facebook, the social media giant that has redefined our online interactions. Along with Google, Facebook has also brought us targeted digital marketing and advertising, and the mass monetization of the internet. It’s been a profitable strategy for the company. Facebook’s market cap is up to $786 billion, and in the third quarter of 2020, the company reported $21.5 billion at the top line. Looking ahead to the Q4 report, due out on January 27, analysts are forecasting revenues at or near $26.2 billion. This would be in-line with the company’s pattern, of rising quarterly performance from Q1 to Q4. At the predicted sum, revenues would rise 24% year-over-year, roughly congruent with the 22% yoy gain already seen in Q3. The key metric to watch out for will be the growth in daily active users; this metric slipped slightly from Q2 to Q3, and further decline will be taken as an ominous sign for the company’s future. As it stands now, Facebook’s daily average user number is 1.82 billion. Ahead of the print, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein boosted his price target to $345 (from $300), while reiterating an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating. Investors stand to pocket ~26% gain should the analyst's thesis play out. (To watch Helfstein’s track record, click here) The 5-star analyst commented, "[We] anticipate 4Q advertising revenue will handily top Street estimates. We now forecast 4Q advertising revenue +30% y/y vs. Street's +25% estimate based on a regression of US Standard Media Index Data (r-squared 0.95) and accelerating global CPM data from Gupta Media (4Q +35% y/y vs. 3Q's -12%). Additionally, we are very bullish on FB's eCommerce opportunity following conversations with our checks and our initial work conservatively estimating Shops is a $25–50B opportunity vs. current $85B revs. We believe shares currently trading at 7.1x EV/NTM sales offers the most favorable risk/ reward in internet large cap." Overall, the social media empire remains a Wall Street darling, as TipRanks analytics showcasing FB as a Strong Buy. This is based on 34 recent reviews, which break down to 30 Buy ratings, 3 Holds, and 1 Sell. Shares are priced at $276.10 and the average price target of $327.42 suggests a one-year upside of ~19%. (See FB stock analysis on TipRanks) Amazon (AMZN) Turning to e-commerce, we can’t avoid Amazon. The retail giant has a market cap of $1.65 trillion, making it one of just four publicly traded companies valued over the trillion-dollar mark. The company’s famously price is famously high, and has grown 74% since this time last year, far outpacing the broader markets. Amazon’s growth has been supported by increased online sales activity during the ‘corona year.’ Globally, online retail has grew 27% in 2020, while total retail slipped 3%. Amazon, which dominates the online retail sector, is projected to end 2020 with $380 billion in total revenue, or 34% year-over-year growth, outpacing the global e-commerce gains. Cowen analyst John Blackledge, rating 5-stars by TipRanks, covers Amazon and is bullish on the company’s prospects ahead of the earnings release. Blackledge rates the stock Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his price target, at $4,350, indicates confidence in a 31% upside on the one-year time horizon. (To watch Blackledge’s track record, click here) “We forecast 4Q20 reported revenue of $120.8BN, +38.2% y/y vs. +37.4% y/y in 3Q20 led by AWS, advertising, subscription and 3P sales [..] We estimate US Prime sub growth accelerated in 4Q20 (reaching 76MM subs in Dec '20 and ~74MM on avg in 4Q20), helped by pandemic demand, Prime Day in Oct, & elongated shopping period, as well as 1 Day delivery [...] In '21, we expect strong top-line growth to continue driven by eCommerce (helped by COVID pull forward in Grocery), adv., AWS & sub businesses," Blackledge opined. That Wall Street generally is bullish on Amazon is no secret; the company has 33 reviews on record, and 32 of them are Buys, versus 1 Hold. Shares are priced at $3,301.26 and the average price target of $3,826 implies that it will grow another 16% this year. (See AMZN 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.
IBM has its work cut out for it in pleasing investors in 2021.
EVgo, the wholly owned subsidiary of LS Power that owns and operates public fast chargers for electric vehicles, has reached a deal to become a publicly traded company through a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corporation. The combined company, which will be listed under the new ticker symbol "EVGO" will have a market valuation of $2.6 billion. LS Power and EVgo management, which today own 100% of the company will be rolling all of its equity into the transaction.
Greenlight Capital hedge fund manager and notorious value investor David Einhorn just released his annual letter to investors, which revealed a record quarter for Einhorn to close out a difficult 2020.Finishing Strong: Greenlight took a massive hit from a large short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) in 2020, but Greenlight finished strong with a 25% gain in the fourth quarter. Despite the disastrous Tesla short position, Einhorn was able to salvage a 5.2% overall gain for the fund for the year.The Greenlight letter disclosed several new long positions heading into 2021, including Fubotv Inc (NYSE: FUBO), Danimer Scientific Inc (NYSE: DNMR) and Neubase Therapeutics Inc (NYSE: NBSE), according to Bloomberg. All three stocks were trading higher by more than 10% on Thursday.Einhorn said the Tesla short position was Greenlight's biggest loser in 2020, although he reportedly adjusted the position prior to Tesla's inclusion in the S&P 500.Related Link: Q3 13F Roundup: How Buffett, Einhorn, Ackman And Others Adjusted Their PortfoliosEinhorn's Recent Struggles: Greenlight has significantly underperformed the S&P 500 in recent years as growth stocks have soared and value stocks have lagged. Greenlight reported a 14% net gain in 2019 following a 38% net loss in 2018, its worst year since the fund's inception in 1996.Einhorn gained mainstream notoriety on Wall Street back in 2007 when he disclosed a short position in Lehman Brothers prior to the bank's collapse in 2008. However, he had drawn a lot of criticism in recent years for his persistent short position in Tesla and his often heated public communications with Tesla CEO Elon Musk."TSLA cars are not a fad; if they were, TSLA would sell many more than it does. The fad is in owning TSLA stock," Einhorn said in the letter.As of the end of the third quarter, Greenlight's three largest long positions were Green Brick Partners Inc (NYSE: GRBK), Brighthouse Financial Inc (NASDAQ: BHF) and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAWW).Benzinga's Take: Economist John Maynard Keynes famously said "the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent," and Einhorn's performance in recent years highlight just how much of a toll a single short position can take on an entire portfolio when the stock in question gets caught in a potential market bubble. Short positions can result in unlimited theoretical losses, whereas standard long positions are capped at just 100% downside.Image credit: PokerListings, YouTubeSee more from Benzinga * Click here for options trades from Benzinga * Why This Enphase Energy Analyst Is Bullish Following Tesla-Driven Sell-Off * Here's How Americans Are Spending Their Stimulus Payments(C) 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
BlackRock Inc. said Thursday that it will raise its dividend by 14%. The investment management's new quarterly dividend of $4.13 a share, up from $3.63 a share, will be payable March 23 to shareholders of record on March 5. The stock slipped 0.1% in afternoon trading. At current prices, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.23%, compared with the dividend yield for the SPDR Financial Select Sector ETF of 1.95% and the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.48%, according to FactSet. BlackRock's stock has gained 16.7% over the past three months, while the financial ETF has rallied 24.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 12.1%.
(Bloomberg) -- A recently refinanced mortgage for a building in Manhattan may show how Donald Trump is able to deal with his upcoming debt maturities, albeit at a higher cost.Investors Bank agreed to extend the mortgage on Trump Park Avenue, a condo building at the corner of 59th Street, by a year to 2021, according to his latest financial disclosure, released hours after he left office.The interest rate increased 25 basis points to 3.5%. It’s at least the second time the due date has been pushed out since the $23 million loan was originated in 2010, records show. It’s now estimated to be less than $10 million.Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer, owns a unit there, and other owners have included former baseball star Alex Rodriguez. When Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner lived in the building, Rupert Murdoch and his then-wife Wendi Deng reportedly were among their neighbors, Deng said in 2010.It has since lost some of its cachet. Seven of eight units listed for sale last year on StreetEasy failed to sell. Most were then listed for rent. A one-bedroom condo on the ninth floor that was listed for $2.1 million in 2019 could be rented for $3,600 a month as of last week. The Trump Organization developed the building and still owns more than a dozen of the units, which form collateral for the mortgage.Brian Doran, general counsel at Investors Bank’s parent company, declined to comment.Doral ResortThe Trump Organization has almost $600 million of estimated debt coming due within the next four years. These include loans tied to Trump Tower in New York and the Doral Golf Resort outside Miami, where revenues dropped to $44 million last year from $77 million a year earlier.With longtime lender Deutsche Bank AG refusing to work with the former president, and corporations distancing themselves from the family business, that has raised questions over how easily the debt can be refinanced.Trump’s business would be far from alone in changing loan terms during the pandemic. There’s been a significant increase over the past year in commercial mortgage modifications, particularly in New York City, as Covid-19 wrecked property valuations, halted foreclosures and evictions, and allowed millions of people to temporarily stop paying rent.More than 10% of all commercial mortgages that have been bundled into securities have requested some kind of relief from creditors during the pandemic, said Manus Clancy, a senior managing director at data provider Trepp LLC. Most of those debtors were hotels and retail businesses, he said. Residential property owners have yet to face similar levels of distress.Representatives of the Trump Organization didn’t respond to a request for comment.The mortgage on his Park Avenue building was one of a few loans that came due during Trump’s first term. Three mortgages were paid off in 2017, while the due date on a loan for his Seven Springs estate in Mount Kisco, New York, was extended to 2029 from 2019. The rate on that mortgage increased to 4.5% from 4%.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Q: When the inheritor of a Roth IRA receives the funds, is it true that the distributions would not be taxed? It would be unusual for any taxes to be due on an RMD from an inherited Roth IRA. The only portion of an inherited IRA that could be subject to tax is earnings.
Shares of GameStop Corp. Friday afternoon were extending a recent surge higher, which was putting the videogame retailer on track for its best monthly gain, up over 220%, in its history. The historic surge in shares of the company, which went public in 2002, comes as an army of traders on a popular social platform Reddit have been striving to drive values higher, according to a Bloomberg report, even as short-seller Citron Research has attempted to make a case why valuations for GameStop make it a sell rather than a buy. However, a planned livestream hosted by Citron, intended for Wednesday originally, was cancelled and Citron has complained about "hacking" of its livestream events and its Twitter account recently. A report in Bloomberg News referred to Citron's technical issues as a backlash from the Reddit community that is rabidly bullish about GameStop. Shares of GameStop originally began a parabolic rise last week and the upsurge was attributed by some to a short squeeze, where investors who are betting that the stock price will fall in value are forced to buy shares they have borrowed in their bearish bets, which can have the effect of amplifying the stock's rise. Market participants also see the rally in GameStop as evidence of a bubble forming in segments of the market, with the Federal Reserve and government providing liqudiity and support for the COVID-19-stricken financial market and maintaining interest rates at or near 0%--a recipe that bears have said has encouraged speculative investments. GameStop has had a powerful run due to lockdowns meant to limit the COVID spread, with more people playing videogames. Its current surge in January far surpasses its 66% surge in August, its second-best monthly gain thus far, FactSet data show.
What is a dividend and which companies have the best-yielding dividends? Read on for a primer on how best to approach this method of investing.
Inovio has thrown its hat into the coronavirus vaccine ring with big biopharma names like Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. But INO stock is volatile on its vaccine news.
Well, it’s official. Joe Biden is now President, and he’ll be backed – at least for the short term – by Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress. Wall Street is taking the measure of the new Administration, and sees, among its first moves, a boost in fiscal stimulus that is likely to goose consumer spending, bump corporate profits, and provide general economic support in the first half of 2021. Covering the situation for Goldman Sachs is investment strategist David Kostin, who is bullish on the near-term prospects for fiscal stimulus. In light of it, Kostin sets the Goldman outlook for this year at 6.4% GDP growth; he sees continued high growth next year, and sets the 2022 prediction at 4%. These outlook numbers are up from the previously published 5.9% and 3.7%. To this end, Kostin sees S&P 500 reaching 4,300 by year’s end, which would be a gain of 12% from current levels. “Elections have consequences. Democratic control of Washington, D.C. after January 20 will bring greater fiscal spending, faster GDP growth, more inflation, and higher interest rates than we had previously assumed,” Kostin noted. With markets looking up, investors are looking for the stocks that are ready for gains. Penny stocks, equities priced at less than $5 per share, are a natural place to search for potential winners. Their low price means that even a small incremental gain will translate into large percentages. However, before jumping right into an investment in a penny stock, Wall Street pros advise looking at the bigger picture and considering other factors beyond just the price tag. For some names that fall into this category, you really do get what you pay for, offering little in the way of long-term growth prospects thanks to weak fundamentals, recent headwinds or even large outstanding share counts. Taking the risk into consideration, we used TipRanks’ database to find compelling penny stocks with bargain price tags. The platform steered us towards two tickers sporting share prices under $5 and “Strong Buy” consensus ratings from the analyst community. Not to mention substantial upside potential is on the table. AzurRx BioPharma (AZRX) We’ll start with a company specializing in gastrointestinal disease, AzurRx. This company is focused on creating non-systemic, targeted recombinant therapies for GI ailments. AzurRx has a pipeline of three drug candidates, at several levels of the development process. The key pipeline candidate, MS1819, is being investigated as a treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency for patients also suffering from cystic fibrosis. MS1819 is a recombinant lipase, derived from a yeast strain. The drug is designed to target fat molecules in the digestive tract, allowing patients to absorb the broken-down fats for nutritive value. The drug is currently in Phase 2 trials, which are scheduled for completion in the first half of this year. As of January 21, the first two patients in the Phase 2b OPTION 2 extension study have been dosed with the treatment, and the Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) “remains supportive of the program.” In another important development, AzurRx announced earlier this month that it is entering a partnership with First Wave Bio to study oral and rectal formulation of Niclosamide to treat immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated colitis (ICI-AC) and COVID-19 related gastrointestinal infections. The estimated market for Niclosamide as a treatment for COVID-related GI problems exceeds $450 million. Based on multiple potentially significant clinical catalysts as well as its $0.98 share price, several members of the Street think that now is the right time to pull the trigger. Jonathan Aschoff, of Roth Capital, is bullish on AzurRx, basing his longer-term forecasts on the probable success of MS1819. “We base our valuation for AZRX on projected future U.S. sales from MS1819 for the treatment of EPI due to CF and CP, using an initial annual price of about $18,000, a price that is consistent with currently available PERTs. We project MS1819 to be commercialized in the U.S. in 2023, generating sales of $272 million in 2030. Ex-U.S. commercial success for MS1819, or commercial success from the early-stage beta-lactamase program would provide upside to our valuation,” Aschoff noted. The analyst also looks forward to initial clinical results of Niclosamide in COVID-19 GI infection and in ICI-AC potentially, noting: "Niclosamide was FDA approved in 1982 to treat intestinal tapeworm infections and is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. Given the millions of patients that have taken the drug, the safety profile has largely been established, thereby lowering developmental risk.” Given all of the above, Aschoff rates AZRX as a Buy, and his $7 price target suggests a sky-high 608% upside for the year ahead. (To watch Aschoff’s track record, click here) Overall, the analyst consensus on AZRX shares is a Strong Buy; the stock has 4 recent reviews, including 3 Buys and a single Hold. In addition, the $4 average price target brings the upside potential to 304%. (See AZRX stock analysis on TipRanks) ProQR (PRQR) ProQR is a biotechnology company focused on treatments for congenital progressive blindness. Specifically, the firm is working on medications to reverse a group of genetic sight disorders called inherited retinal diseases. These diseases currently have no effective treatments. The company has a research pipeline of five drug candidates, in varying stages of the research process. The two that are farthest along are QR-110 (Sepofarsen), and QR-421. Of those two, QR-110 is currently in Phase 2/3 studies. This candidate is an RNA therapy designed to correct the most common CEP290 gene mutation causing Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10). This is a severe genetic retinal disease that affects as many as 3 in 100,000 children. QR-421 is another RNA therapy, this one focused on exon 13 mutations in the USH2A gene. These mutations cause blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa and/or Usher syndrome. QR-421 is in Phase 1/2 studies, with an aim of restoring lost vision or preventing the loss in the first place. Covering the stock for JMP, analyst Jonathan Wolleben points to Sepofarsen as a key component of his bullish thesis. “We continue to feel good about sepofarsen’s chance of success in Illuminate for multiple reasons: 1) Phase 1/2 confirmed the target registrational dose and dosing interval (6 months); 2) patients had clinically significant and durable BCVA improvements after 12 months – pivotal primary endpoint; 3) supportive secondary efficacy measures (FST, mobility); 4) similar responses seen in second treated eyes; 5) long-term safety confirms positive risk/benefit; and 6) Illuminate patient population was enriched based on Phase 1/2 results (baselinevision of >/=hand motion). We assign sepofarsen a 60% POS and model LCA10 as an ~$300M opportunity to PRQR at peak penetration," Wolleben opined. In line with his upbeat outlook, Wolleben puts a $20 price target on the stock, implying a 384% one-year upside, along with an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating. (To watch Wolleben’s track record, click here) All in all, PRQR gets a unanimous Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on 3 positive stock reviews. Shares are currently trading for $4.13, and their $20.67 average price target is slightly more bullish than Wolleben’s, suggesting an upside of 400% for the coming 12 months. (See PRQR stock analysis at TipRanks) To find good ideas for penny 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.