Wall Street clearly woke up on the right side of the bed this week, as both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ hit new 52-week highs. The cheery attitude was thanks to news of positive advancements made in the treatment of COVID-19.
First, on Sunday, President Trump and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to use blood plasma from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19. The idea is that infusions of this plasma filled with antibodies can help COVID-19 patients recover.
While researchers are still studying the treatment’s effectiveness and the best circumstances for its use, it represents another way to beat this virus and get life and the economy back to normal again.
And, second, word leaked that the Trump administration is looking to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine candidate under development by Oxford University and AstraZeneca (AZN) in the U.K.
The plan is to have it ready for use before the November election. Human trials for the vaccine began in April and are now in Phase 2/3 trials, including a trial of 30,000 people in the U.S. AstraZeneca has also begun testing an antibody-based cocktail that would prevent and treat symptoms of COVID-19.
The U.S. Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BRDA) has given this vaccine project over $1 billion so far, while the federal government has arranged for AstraZeneca to make 300 million doses available to Americans beginning in October.
As a leading drug manufacturer, AZN is one of the few biopharmaceutical companies initiating clinical trials to uncover a treatment and ultimately a vaccine for the coronavirus.
And AZN’s move into COVID-19 treatments has had a positive impact on its top and bottom line. In the second quarter, AZN reported earnings of $0.58 per share and revenue of $6.28 billion. The consensus estimate called for earnings of $0.44 per share on $6.24 billion in revenue, so AstraZeneca posted a 31.8% earnings surprise and a slight revenue surprise.
The company also noted that during the first six months of 2020, revenue grew 12% year-over-year to $12.63 billion and earnings surged 108% year-over-year to $1.17 per share. The first-half strength was primarily due to solid growth across the company’s therapy areas, including Oncology, New CVRM and Respiratory & Immunology.
Now, there are plenty of other biotech companies racing to create a coronavirus vaccine, making biotech quite the crowded sector and harder to find the crème de la crème of stocks. So far, Moderna (MRNA) has been one of the biggest winners – up about 233% year-to-date.
However, I’m not interested in Moderna right now. Rather, my money is on AZN, given its strong fundamentals and potential upside, which is why I recommended it in my Accelerated Profits newsletter in May 2020. But it’s not the only coronavirus-related stock I’ve recommended recently.
Across all my newsletters, I’ve recommended a variety of coronavirus-related stocks in the past few months, including two companies creating diagnostics test for COVID-19 and a company whose respiratory products have been in top demand.
And, in this Friday’s Growth Investor September Monthly Issue, I will unveil another biotech recommendation. This company is also developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The government has shelled out over a billion dollars to expedite this company’s production of its vaccine candidate, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided tens of millions.
In addition, its fundamentals are outstanding: For the second quarter, the company posted a 50% earnings surprise and 44% sales surprise. The analyst has revised its earnings estimates a whopping 348.5% higher for the third quarter. Typically, positive analyst revisions precede earnings surprises.
If you’re a Platinum Growth Club subscriber, then you have full access to all of these recommendations. If you’re not a subscriber already, then then I encourage you to sign up now. On Friday, I’ll also be releasing four other High-Growth stock recommendations and one Elite Dividend Payer recommendation. I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to get in before these stocks really takes off.
After you sign up, you’ll also have full access to my small-cap newsletter (Breakthrough Stocks), shorter-term trading service (Accelerated Profits), as well as the exclusive Platinum Growth Club Model Portfolio and Allocation Tool, live chat events and special podcasts. Speaking of, I just recorded an exclusive Platinum Growth Club podcast last Wednesday.
Note: The Editor hereby discloses that as of the date of this email, the Editor, directly or indirectly, owned the following securities that are the subject of the commentary, analysis, opinions, advice, or recommendations in, or which are otherwise mentioned in, the essay set forth below: