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BenzingaEditorial

Healthcare – The Silver Lining of 2020

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Many of the best stocks in 2020 were healthcare companies focused on two disease areas: trying to stop the spread of COVID-19 and improving survival rates from deadly diseases. Their scientific achievements have been nothing less than extraordinary. By looking at healthcare companies with market caps above $200 million from the beginning of the year until December 1st, here are the top ten that delivered highest returns during the unprecedented pandemic that caused nothing less than an economic turmoil.

  1. Novavax

Novavax’s (NASDAQ:NVAX) journey from micro-cap to mid-cap has been nothing short of breath taking. The vaccine specialist has two potential blockbuster drugs in its pipeline: one for influenza and another for COVID-19. Back in March, the company reported positive phase 3 data from its flu shot candidate, Nano-Flu, and it is currently undergoing pivotal trials of its COVID-19 candidate with data expected in the first quarter of 2021.

  1. Vaxart

Vaxart’s (NASDAQ:VXRT) also went from micro-cap to small-cap in 2020 due to its own development of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. But while Novavax counted on $1.6 billion from Operation Warp Speed, Vaxart did not pull in any federal funding and had to issue stock to fund its phase 1 trial. Despite its slow progress, potential is immense as unlike all the major vaccine candidates, Vaxart’s COVID-19 vaccine is a pill, not a shot. Any piece of good news can further propel this stock to space.

  1. Cardiff Oncology

Cardiff Oncology (NASDAQ:CRDF) had a minuscule $10.6 million market cap at the beginning of the year but to almost $700 million. Its cancer drug that it licensed for $2 million from a private company is its future billion-dollar opportunity but its lead drug candidate, Onvansertib, is reportedly achieving success in fighting colon tumour while simultaneously being tested for prostate cancer and leukemia in phase 2 trials. Pivotal trials have not been reached yet but the early data was enough to lure in investors.

  1. Co-Diagnostics

Co-Diagnostics (NASDAQ:CODX) ran up from a $15 million valuation to $300 million when it provided an early diagnostic test for COVID-19. Co-Diagnostics already has products on the market and is highly profitable. Early sales of its diagnostics have caused revenue to jump to $47 million in the first three quarters of the year, its sales growth soared over 50,000% in the third quarter, and it boasts a 63% profit margin.

  1. Trillium Therapeutics

Trillium Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TRIL) saw its market cap skyrocket from $29 million to $1.2 billion this year. The biotech company specializes in drugs that shut down the CD47 protein in cancer cells, which instructs the immune system to leave the cancer cells alone. When this protein is shut down, the immune system can kill the cancer cells. While Trillium’s drugs are only in phase 1 trials, early data is beyond promising.

  1. Arcturus Therapeutics

mRNA vaccine developers Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) made headlines this year as their COVID-19 vaccines proved to be safe and effective. Arcturus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ARCT) is another such specialist but it is lagging behind due to a lack of funds. Arcturus has vaccine candidates for COVID-19 and the flu, along with a variety of other mRNA drugs in clinical trials, including a possible treatment for cystic fibrosis. Still, it did go up 940% as the world is excited about this new technology.

  1. Celldex Therapeutics

Celldex (NASDAQ:CLDX) shares sold for $2 in January and now, they are standing at approximately $19 as the company got its drugs into clinical trails. The biotech has two cancer drugs in phase 1 trials, and another phase 1 drug for an inflammatory disease that causes hives.

  1. Retractable Technologies

Retractable Technologies (NYSEMKT:RVP) makes syringes with automatic retractable needles which became of vital importance during the pandemic because an accidental needle stick can infect medical workers with a patient’s disease. Retractable saw huge revenue gains this year as the government stockpiled syringes for upcoming vaccination.

  1. Moderna

Moderna had a $6 billion market cap already at the beginning of the year when it did not have any existing drug on the market. But COVID-19 allowed the company to show what it’s got and Moerna delivered by producing a vaccine with 94.1% efficacy. Now Moderna’s market cap is $61 billion with rest of its pipeline that has been validated with mRNA evidence.

  1. Seres Therapeutics

Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MCRB) specializes in the genetic material of all the microscopic bacteria that exist in the gastrointestinal tract and seeks the beneficial gut bacteria. It has even joined forces with Nestle (OTC: NSRGY) on a drug in phase 3 trials for a type of colitis that affects half a million Americans every year, and a phase 2 drug for ulcerative colitis.

An even brighter outlook

Novavax, the best stock in 2020 will continue to soar if its phase 3 trials data is positive. Trillium and Seres have exciting drug platforms that are approaching deadly diseases in an entirely new way. 2020 has been a rough year for most, but investors in these 10 stocks sure had a silver lining and their future could be just as bright if they deliver on the promise.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

BenzingaEditorial

BMW, XPENG and Worksport Switching Gears Forward

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The EV revolution is happening with governments and automakers going full speed ahead to combat carbon emissions with all-electric vehicles. Many players joining forces in the attempt to win the race with the power of synergy. Even the almighty Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM) knew better than going at it alone as it partnered with Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) to form Prime Planet Energy & Solutions to develop batteries that can be used over and over again anytime, anywhere. In June, Renault SA (OTC: RNLSY) revealed it formed two major partnerships to specialize in the design and production of EV batteries. In March, Volkswagen (OTC: VWAGY) announced it aims to build several “gigafactories” in Europe by 2030. This week, we got a few more expansion updates.

BMW receives battery ‘fuel’

Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (OTC: BMWYY) is also working on new concepts and ideas related to batteries.  Its project BMW-UK-BEV that is centered around the development of a long-distance EV battery has been awarded $36.07 million in joint funding from the industry and the U.K. government. The U.K. is determined to stop selling new diesel and gasoline cars and vans by 2030, the Oxford-based project is one of four to receive funding as new technologies that address range anxiety are crucial to wider EV adoption.

XPeng is is quadrupling capacity

The Chinese EV maker announced it will quadruple capacity as it signed an agreement with a Zhaoqing Smart EV Manufacturing Base expansion project that will boost capacity to 200,000 units annually from 100,000 units. The expansion will enable Xpeng Inc (NYSE: XPEV) to capture the anticipated increase in consumer demand for its smart EVs. In addition to Zhaoqing, XPeng is building manufacturing capacity in Guangzhou and Wuhan, which should enable it to make 400,000 EVs a year, four times what it produces today.

XPeng has delivered about 58,000 vehicles over the past 12 months, behind 76,000 vehicles from NIO Inc (NYSE: NIO) and 59,000 by Li Auto Inc (NASDAQ: LI).

All these three U.S.-listed Chinese EVs are expanding production to meet rising demand. Nio recently announced it will more than double its current production of 100,000 vehicles to 240,000 units a year. Li Auto raised more money in August selling stock in Hong Kong, part of which will commit to doubling capacity to 200,000 units a year.

Worksport announcing Pre-Order Date Solar Covers

Worksport moved into its new headquarters and 55,000 sqaure feet manufacturing facility. As its tonneau cover business continues to grow, Worksport Ltd (NASDAQ: WKSP) is getting ready for pre-production of its TerraVis solar-powered tonneau cover and its extension, the standalone COR battery system. The company also revealed it is expanding its EV ecosystem with a new product termed NPEV that aims to contribute to making transportation greener. Today Worksport announced its anticipated Pre-Order platform will go live on 21ste of September.

With a physical foundation and the right partners, as it joined forces with two EV players on two upcoming electric pickups, Worksport seems ready for the next chapter of its growth story that is bound to bring new technologies to the EV table.

These updates make it clear that capacity is expanding to meet rising EV demand. In July alone, EV sales grew about 200% YoY, and approximately 5% from June.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Even Covid-19 Cannot End Disney’s Enduring Magic

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Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) blowout third quarter that beat expectations across the board was fueled by growth in Disney+ subscribers and parks returning to profit. But now that Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary is around the corner, things are looking even better.

50th anniversary celebration

Walt Disney World is gearing up for its celebration which starts on October 1. Dining is returning to Orlando, Florida park as preparations are ongoing. The fact that normal operations are resuming at parks is a good sign that the company is on track when it comes to guest and travel confidence, which translates to an improved bottom line. The party tickets are sold separately from park entry tickets which implies an exponential growth as this segment was literally crushed by the pandemic one and a half year ago. The celebration will open a busy holiday travel season so it can be assumed that Disney stands to benefit from an increase in guest spending, from large purchases like annual passes to shopping for seasonal merchandise. As for the outlook, 2022 is looking brighter for the Parks, Experiences and Products segment.

Delta variant is looming

However, Covid continues plaguing the entertainment industry and the world for more than 18 months now, and there are fears that new variants will reverse the progress at Disney’s biggest money makers as theme parks and cruise lines are its lifeblood. Box office revenue also wasn’t exempt from the devastating blowdespite management trying to reinvent the release structure to drain as much benefit as possible. Streaming also resulted in a compensation-related and public lawsuit from Scarlett Johansson who found like many of her colleagues she was severely harmed by this model.

The White House steps in

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden met with several top U.S. leaders, including the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, as part of his ongoing effort to push companies to require workers to be be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the delta variant rages on. Participants in the meeting also included Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA). However, corporations such U.S. automakers General Motors Co (NYSE: GM) and Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) are encouraging employees to get the vaccine, but they remain quiet about the executive order. The White House hopes that this meeting will serve “as a rallying cry for more businesses across the country to step up and install measures to boost vaccination rates.

Luckily for Disney that it released Disney+ when it did

Direct to consumer division that includes several streaming services besides Disney+, including ESPN+, Hulu has benefited from people being much more at home. Launched in November 2019, just a few months before the pandemic struck, Disney+  has literally kept Disney afloat while the other divisions struggled to keep their heads above water. Without this division, Disney would not have a rare bright spot over the past year and a half.

The magic lives on

Almost a century old company has endured many things, but the COVID-19 pandemic was by far the worst crisis that the entertainment giant faced as its business model was perfectly exposed to this invisible enemy. Although COVID held its cash-cows hostage, the power of Disney goes beyond the physical experience. Back in August, Target (NYSE: TGT) revealed it will nearly triple the number of Disney shops inside its stores to more than 160 by the end of year, in an attempt to increase foot traffic ahead of the anticipated holiday season. Target hopes that Disney can help it stand out and raise its toy department’s price point. Over almost a century, Disney’s brand evolved while staying loyal to its core values of its founder. In doing so, it became a synonym for storytelling that brings magic to life. Its “once upon a time” earned it an iconic status that made this global brand stronger than any virus- related fear.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Oracle Is Aiming for the Cloud

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The enterprise software maker reported its fiscal first quarter revenue on Monday, with its top segment, as well as hardware, missing expectations. Revenue came below expectations as Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) announced a program during the quarter to encourage customers to adopt its public cloud services in the quarter by reducing or even eliminating its licensing support costs.

Encouraging migrations to the cloud

The support rewards program offers customers who make new commitments to buy Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services to earn rewards that can reduce or even eliminate their Oracle on-premises technology licensing support bills.

Fiscal Q1 figures

For the quarter that ended on August 31st, revenue increased 4% YoY as it amounted to $9.73 billion. Refinitiv reported analysts expected $9.77 billion, whereas the prior quarter’s growth rate was double at 8% respectively.

The two new cloud businesses

The cloud license and on-premises license segment brought in $813 million to the revenue table, down 8% and lower than the $859.7 million consensus. Cloud is fundamentally a more profitable business compared to on-premise. Management expects operating margins to be the same or better than pre-pandemic levels. The company does not disclose revenue nor operating income from its two services that now make 25% of its total revenue with an annual run rate of $10 billion.

The largest business segment, cloud services and license support, generated $7.37 billion in revenue, which is up 6%, although below the StreetAccount consensus estimate of $7.41 billion.

The hardware unit generated $763 million in revenue, down 6% and below the $778.5 million estimate.

Increased capital expenditures

Oracle’s capital expenditures exceeded $1 billion, more than doubling compared to the $436 million in the year-ago quarter as executives invested to build the necessary infrastructure to meet expected cloud demand.

To expand and strengthen its footing in the cloud computing space, Oracle, which counts Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) as one of its customers, has been heavily investing in opening more data centers to rent to clients as they shift their operations to the cloud.

 Fiscal Q2 guidance

For the undergoing quarter, CEO Safra Catz expects earnings per share to come in the range between $1.09 to $1.13 on 3% to 5% revenue growth. Analysts polled by Refinitiv are expecting a 5% revenue growth to result in adjusted earnings of $1.08 per share.

A crowded space

Austin, Texas-based company whose shares have risen about 40% year to date is in a crowded space of rivals no other than tech titans Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) Corp that makie it much more challenging to benefit from cloud computing trends.

In a nutshell, Oracle fell short of Wall Street expectations because of incentives it offered to its customers in an attempt to position itself among the clouds.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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