According to analysts, no equity has outperformed drug maker Moderna, which is up more than 1,300 percent since closing at $26.57 on March 23, 2020. The stock was added to the S&P500 on July 21, 2021, during the rollout of its Covid vaccine, and it has risen 16 percent since then, despite a volatile August that saw five days of share price moves greater than 5% in either direction.
According to regulatory filings released Monday, hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller added new positions in Moderna in the second quarter.
Moderna is followed in the list of top stocks by four consumer plays, each of which is up at least 590 percent: Caesars Entertainment, Bath & Body Works, Tesla, and Penn National Gaming.
During the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, the S&P500 hit a Covid trough of 2,237.40 on March 23, the index’s fastest 30 percent drop in history. According to analysts of S&P500 Global data, it has rallied 100 percent since then amid unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus as well as strong corporate earnings growth, marking the fastest bull-market doubling off a bottom since World War II.
The materials sector led the recovery with a 123 percent return, and Freeport-McMoRan, Albemarle Corporation, and Nucor Corporation have all gained more than 330 percent since last March.
With a 120 percent return from its pandemic low, the technology sector led the early stages of the historic market rebound.
Citrix Systems leads the small group of negative stocks with a 16 percent loss, followed by Las Vegas Sands Corp., Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Viatris, Perrigo, Gilead Sciences, and Clorox, which was a big winner for months at the start of the pandemic but has since faded.
Third Point has owned the stock since its initial public offering.
Loeb also purchased $554 million in SoFi stock. On June 1, SoFi, short for Social Finance, went public by combining with Chamath Palihapitiya’s special purpose acquisition company. Since then, the stock has increased by 15%.
The long-time manager recently revealed that he has shifted his investing style away from event-driven opportunities and toward “hyper growth companies” and early-stage ventures.
Third Point also increased its Intel holdings by 13,000 shares, bringing its total holdings to 14,000 shares worth $786 million as of the end of June. Last year, the activist investor urged Intel to consider “strategic alternatives” after the chipmaker lost market share to TSMC. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare, took over as CEO of Intel earlier this year.
At the end of June, the fund’s other major holdings included Intuit, Danaher, Paysafe, and Amazon.
Analyst Tiago Fauth initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating on Monday evening, saying in a note to clients that the company’s database would be difficult to match for pharmaceutical research.
“We believe 23andMe provides investors with a platform that enables novel discoveries into the causes and potential treatments of a wide range of diseases at unprecedented statistical power,” according to the note.
According to Credit Suisse, the company’s collaboration with a major pharmaceutical company is already demonstrating its potential.
“With its exclusive strategic partner GlaxoSmithKline, the company has identified over 40 novel drug targets and 19 validated targets, including its lead CD96 program in immuno-oncology.” Looking beyond the GSK collaboration, we see significant long-term optionality for ME’s Therapeutics segment,” the note said.
In June, the company went public via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company backed by billionaire Richard Branson. However, after peaking at more than $13 per share on its official first day, the stock has plummeted dramatically. On Monday, it was trading at $7.29 per share.
Credit Suisse set a price target of $13 per share, implying a 78 percent increase.
Tech stocks lead the growth
The bank noted that while 72 percent of companies globally exceeded their earnings estimates for the second quarter of the year, earnings are expected to slow. “As we enter 2H′21, the low base effect of 2020 is beginning to fade. This year has been one of the best growth years in recent memory, but it also sets a very high bar for the future,”.
With this in mind, the bank has selected dozens of U.S. and global stocks for its list of “companies with easy targets” for the second half of the year.
According to Jefferies, they also have a “strong” first half run rate, which means their first half or full-year earnings ratio is higher than the 2017 to 2019 period average.
Several real estate investment trusts, including Equity Residential, Prologis, VICI Properties, and Extra Space Storage, are among its picks in the United States.
Tech companies like Facebook and Iron Mountain are also on the list, as are banks like Citizens Financial Corp and SVB Financial Group, and energy companies like Southern Company, Evergy, and Pinnacle West Capital.
European companies on Jefferies’ “easy targets” list include Hikma Pharmaceuticals of the United Kingdom and Orion of Sweden, as well as chipmaker STMicro and semiconductor suppliers ASM International and ASML. Nemetschek, a software company, and Hexagon, a hardware company, are among the technology companies on the list.
Jefferies Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) “easy targets” list includes Unimicron, Acer, and Yageo, as well as financial firms Industrial Bank of Korea and Krung Thai Bank, and semiconductor firms Realtek, Phison Electronics, and Powertech Technology.