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Qatar signs deal to buy Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Qatar signs deal to buy Moderna COVID-19 vaccineQatar has signed an agreement with drugmaker Moderna Inc to buy its potential COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is approved and released for global use, state news agency QNA quoted a health official as saying on Sunday. There are no internationally approved vaccines yet, but several are in advanced trials, including from Pfizer Inc , Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. “Negotiating early and securing a number of agreements enhances our chances of getting sufficient quantities of the vaccine early,” said Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of a national COVID-19 health group and head of infectious diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation.

7 Unhealthy Biotech Stocks To Sell Before They Sicken Your Portfolio

7 Unhealthy Biotech Stocks To Sell Before They Sicken Your PortfolioWhile it’s a good idea to go through your portfolio at least once a quarter and evaluate how your stocks are doing, special circumstances dictate that you do it more scrupulously, and our present pandemic certainly counts.
The markets are caught in limbo, awaiting another stimulus package after a massive run from late March through September.
The biggest winners have been tech stocks, especially biotechs and pharmaceutical companies. Much of that hype initially centered on the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. But it then filtered through the entire industry, since many companies that were once small-time outsiders were launched into headliners with a cure.InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips
Diagnostic companies, testing and healthcare equipment companies all started rising as well. But we’re in a different place now.

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Here are 7 unhealthy biotech stocks to sell before they sicken your portfolio:
Galapagos NV (NASDAQ:GLPG)
Heron Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HRTX)
Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS)
REGENXBIO (NASDAQ:RGNX)
Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN)
China Biologic Products (NASDAQ:CBPO)
Ligand Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:LGND)
For these biotech stocks, the ardor has cooled. While these aren’t terrible stocks, they’re stocks best exited before a correction hits or their momentum slows further.

Unhealthy Biotech Stocks to Sell: Galapagos NV (GLPG)
Source: Jarretera / Shutterstock.com

Based in Belgium, this biotech focuses on small molecule and antibody therapies, aiming to discover novel drug targets.
Last summer, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) announced it was investing around $5 billion in the company, which sent the stock flying.
But the pandemic crushed the stock and just as it began climbing back, it was hit by news that its osteoarthritis drug in development with GILD failed FDA trials.
Even with the cash infusion, this is a costly setback, as the company has to spend more on trials that may or may not get it approval. And it pushes back the possible launch date and increases its burn rate.
Down 40% year to date, there’s still more downside risk.

Heron Therapeutics (HRTX)
Source: Shutterstock

While only sporting a $1.4 billion market cap, this biotech has two drugs recently approved by the FDA (one of which is coming this week).
Both drugs are antiemetics (drugs that reduce nausea and vomiting) to be used in conjunction with chemotherapy for cancer patients.
But its biggest ace, still in trials in the U.S. and the E.U., is a non-addictive, non-opioid painkiller.
Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic has been supplanted by the pandemic. So this boutique biotech has been pushed to the back burner.

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Down 34% year to date, if the market sells off, HRTX is going with it.

Ionis Therapeutics (IONS)
Source: Shutterstock

There’s a novel approach in biotech called antisense therapeutics. It basically alters pieces of messenger RNA so when the body builds new DNA strands from that RNA, it can help mitigate certain diseases.
IONS has been involved in antisense therapeutics since 1989. And it has two drugs available in the U.S. and one in the E.U. All work to help people with rare diseases better manage their symptoms.
The massive chemical conglomerate Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY) is a partner and just recently took over development and production of an IONS clotting drug.
IONS is down 23% year to date and there’s nothing, good or bad, that is going to move the stock anytime soon.

REGENXBIO (RGNX)
Source: Shutterstock

Boasting a $1 billion market cap, RGNX has a number of partnerships with leading drug makers to use its gene therapy solutions for a variety of different pathologies.
One of the drugs it worked on with Novartis (NYSE:NVS) was lucrative enough that RGNX didn’t have to look for cash for other projects by issuing more stock. Unfortunately, a big impending payment from NVS looks like it has been pushed further into the future due to an FDA ruling.

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The stock is down 33% year to date, and absent any other big news from its partners, is likely to hang fire at best.

Illumina (ILMN)
Source: Shutterstock

This major gene sequencing company should be going gangbusters here. And it was doing pretty well after the March market dive.
But in late September it announced it was re-buying cancer-screening start-up, Grail for $8 billion. Grail had been a division of ILMN a few years ago and it was spun off with big-name investors Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos buying in.
ILMN stock got hammered on the announcement because many of the industry analysts couldn’t understand why it buy Grail back, since its leading product puts ILMN in direct competition with some of its other customers that are working on similar technologies.
The stock has regained some of that value, but it’s still not clear how it’s going to move forward with this major purpose.
Down 4% year to date, there’s as much risk as promise here, and it’s expensive.

China Biologic Products (CBPO)
Source: Shutterstock

As the race for a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 continues around the globe, there are other diseases that still need attention as well.
That’s where CBPO comes in. It has a portfolio of plasma-based drugs for the treatment of everything from tetanus and rabies to hepatitis B.
The problem is, the pandemic has changed the priorities of both patients and healthcare professionals. And that has meant some conditions don’t rise to the level of attention they did before the pandemic.
This can be seen in CBPO’s second-quarter earnings. Sales were off, while income and profits also lagged. And earnings missed consensus.

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While the stock is only off 2% year to date, it may be stuck here for a while.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND)
Source: Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com

LGND is a R&D contracting firm for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. It develops drug candidates and then it partners with a firm that will take it through trials and market it.
This means LGND doesn’t bear the costs and risks associated with bringing a drug to market and the drug company doesn’t have to invest on an in-house R&D staff and facilities. LGND makes its money off negotiated royalty payments from its partners.
Currently, LGND is receiving royalties from 9 different drugs on the market now. But the pandemic has shifted resources for its customer base, putting LGND in a tough spot. That’s best illustrated by the fact that 63% of its stock is now in short positions. The stock is already down 20% year to date.
On the date of publication, Louis Navellier has no long positions in any of the stocks in this article. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article
The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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4 Oil Stocks To Buy as the Price of Crude Stabilizes

4 Oil Stocks To Buy as the Price of Crude StabilizesAs U.S. equity markets trade near all-time highs, coming back from their March lows, several sectors have been left behind, notably banking and energy.
I believe that oil stocks are poised for a rally in the coming quarters. Last month, Fitch Ratings forecast that global GDP will fall by 4.4% in FY 2020, which implied a “modest upward revision from the 4.6% decline expected in the June.”
Deutsche Bank also believes that the global GDP will “return to pre-virus levels by mid-2021.” In another forecast, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development expects 5% GDP growth in the coming year.InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips
The point I am trying to make here is that the worst is possibly over for the global economy. It also implies that demand for oil will increase in the coming quarters. Crude oil prices have also stabilized, as evidenced by recent price action in commodity-based exchange-traded fund United States Oil Fund, LP (NYSEARCA:USO), and is likely to trend higher with demand growth.

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Considering this macro outlook, it’s a good time a consider exposure to some fundamentally strong oil stocks, specifically four oil stocks with a healthy dividend pay-out.
Even if the stock price is sideways, investors can benefit from dividend cash inflow. Let’s take a deeper look into the following stocks.
CNOOC Limited (NYSE:CEO)
Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX)
Equinor (NYSE:EQNR)
Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO)

4 Oil Stocks to Buy as the Price of Crude Stabilizes: CNOOC Limited (CEO)
Source: Shutterstock

I like CEO stock for two primary reasons. CNOOC currently pays an annual dividend of $8.37 and at current levels, has an attractive yield of 8.9%. Further, the stock trades at a price-to-earnings-ratio of just 8.3. Therefore, in addition to dividends, the stock is likely to trend higher in the coming quarters as oil prices recover.
Amidst a downturn in the industry, another positive fundamental factor is that CNOOC has a gearing ratio of 25%. With low leverage, the company has ample financial flexibility.
Since the company has an annual dividend pay-out of $8.37, it’s also important to talk about the sustainability of dividends. I want to mention the fact that for the first half of FY2020, the company reported free cash flow of 6.4 billion CNY ($957.4 million).
Even in the most challenging times, the Chinese oil company has managed to deliver positive FCF. I expect FCF to increase in the coming years. Dividends are therefore safe.
Given the strong fundamentals, CNOOC is also on track for a capital expenditure of 80 billion yuan (mid-range of guidance) for the current year. Investments are likely to be higher for the coming year. This will translate into production growth and cash flow upside.
CEO stock has declined by 38% in the last 12 months, pretty much in lockstep with oil’s gyrations. I believe that the worst is over for the sector and for the stock. Exposure can be considered at current levels of $93.70.

Chevron Corporation (CVX)
Source: tishomir / Shutterstock.com

Chevron is another oil stock that has strong fundamentals, attractive valuations and an attractive dividend yield.
CVX stock has also declined by 38% in the last year and stock upside is likely in addition to dividends. Currently, the stock pays an annual dividend of $5.16, which translates into a dividend yield of 7.28%.
Chevron also has a strong balance sheet with a net debt ratio of 17%. In addition, the company has $30 billion in cash and equivalents. The liquidity buffer should help the company to ramp-up investments once oil trends higher and sustains at higher levels.

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The company’s Permian asset is likely to deliver production growth and strong cash flows in the coming years. Even for FY2020, the company expects positive FCF from Permian assets. Therefore, once oil trends higher, the returns from Permian assets will be attractive.
With strong fundamentals, quality assets and robust dividends, I expect CVX stock to be a value creator in the coming years.

Equinor (EQNR)
Source: II.studio / Shutterstock.com

I believe that Norway’s Equinor is among the top oil stocks. In the last one year, EQNR stock has declined by 20.8%, outperforming CVX stock and CEO stock and even ETF USO. The stock also has a healthy 2.55% dividend yield.
In terms of growth, I believe that the Johan Sverdrup asset is likely to be a game changer for the company. The asset is the third-largest in the Norwegian continental shelf with expected resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Once phase two production commences in FY2022, daily production from the asset will be 690,000 BOE/day. The company has a 42.6% stake in the asset. The asset will therefore deliver production growth and cash flow upside in the coming years. FCF is likely to be robust considering the point that the company expects full field break-even as $20 per barrel.
Of course, Johan is not the only asset. The company has 6 billion barrels of proved oil and gas reserves. With a robust credit rating, the company has financial flexibility for growth.
Overall, EQNR stock is worth considering at current levels. In the next 12-24 months, the company can deliver robust returns through stock upside and dividends.

Marathon Oil (MRO)
Source: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Among the relatively smaller names in the industry, I like Marathon Oil. MRO stock has slumped by 63% in the last year, but has been sideways for the past six months. I believe that the worst is over and upside is likely in the coming quarters.
It’s worth noting that the company recently reinstated dividends with a quarterly pay-out of 3 cents per share. An annual dividend of 12 cents implies a yield of 2.89%.
From a fundamental perspective, Marathon reported total liquidity of $3.5 billion as of Q2 2020. In addition, the balance sheet remains strong with an investment grade credit rating.
Low break-even assets are another reason to be bullish on the company. In the second half of the year, the company expects positive FCF even if WTI oil is around $30 per barrel. For the next year, free cash flow break-even is expected at $35 per barrel.

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WTI oil currently trades at $40 per barrel and with likelihood of oil trending higher, the company’s dividends are safe. In addition, as FCF swells, fundamentals will further improve.
Overall, MRO stock can be a potential doubler in the next 12-24 months.
On the date of publication, Faisal Humayun did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.
Faisal Humayun is a senior research analyst with 12 years of industry experience in the field of credit research, equity research and financial modeling. Faisal has authored over 1,500 stock specific articles with focus on the technology, energy and commodities sector. As of this writing, Faisal Humayun did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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