Healthcare 833

Returns for Healthcare stocks have been all over the board, with the coronavirus picks leading the way. However, the average Healthcare stock is still trading at a discount.

*Luminex Corporation (LMNX)
There seems to be some solid support for the stock, and given where we are at in the fear-greed cycle for the overall market, I believe the longer it is able to hold that level without breaking down, the more bullish the chart will become.

Because we are still fairly underweighted in this stock, along with my belief that “big tech” money is going to start rolling into other sectors, I am adding a few shares to both Portfolios.
I believe that the company’s current market cap puts it in “the sweet spot” in terms of being a potential takeover candidate if the bull market remains intact (but, no—I am NOT predicting such an outcome!), I am comfortable adding a few more shares. LMNX is a strong buy under $30 and a buy under $36.
Nate Pile, Nate’s Notes, NotWallStreet.com, 707-433-7903, August 14, 2020

*Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK)
Merck & Co. (Rated “B-”) is one of the biggest of the “Big Pharma” names. Merck is working to develop two virus vaccines. One is the product of its acquisition of the Austrian company Themis Bioscience, while the other is the result of a collaboration with the research nonprofit firm IAVI.

Given the firm’s strong balance sheet and manufacturing capabilities, it could churn out enormous amounts of vaccine, should ongoing trials prove their effectiveness and safety.

Even without the potential boost of COVID-19 vaccine sales, Merck is humming along. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.37 in the second quarter. That easily beat the average forecast of $1.04. Sales topped estimates, too—$10.87 billion versus an average forecast of $10.39 billion.

The company raised its full-year profit targets because people are increasingly going back to their doctors to obtain medical treatments they had been postponing. That will favorably impact demand for Merck’s nonCOVID-19 vaccines and drugs. They include the cancer treatments Keytruda and Lynparza.

Merck currently pays out 61 cents per share in quarterly dividends. The stock looks solid from a technical perspective, recently taking out overhead resistance near $84.
I recommend you buy a starter position of 2.5% in MRK at market.
Mike Larson, Safe Money Report, 1-877-934-7778, weissratings.com, September 2020

*ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACAD)
Acadia Pharmaceuticals is buying privately-held CerSci Therapeutics for $52.5 million in order to access its portfolio of novel compounds for neurological conditions, including non-opioid therapies for acute and chronic pain. The lead development program is a unique Reactive Species Decomposition Accelerant (RSDAx), a first-in-class mechanism focused on interrupting pathways that sensitize neurons to pain. ACAD plans to initiate a Phase II trial for the lead molecule, ACP-044, in the first half of 2021.

The portfolio also contains additional developmental and preclinical stage drug candidates, including brain penetrant molecules, with potential for symptomatic and disease modifying treatment utility in neurodegenerative diseases. Potential disease targets include: diabetic neuropathy, migraine, neurodegenerative diseases and opioid abuse disorders.

Importantly, this acquisition strengthens ACAD’s clinical pipeline to include non-opioid pain therapies that have potential non-addictive properties and reduced side effects typically seen with current opioid treatments. Non-opioid pain relief is a huge market opportunity and we believe that $52.5 million is a very attractive price for a Phase II ready asset.

ACAD is a BUY under 46 with a TARGET PRICE of 60.
John McCamant, The Medical Technology Stock Letter, bioinvest.com, August 27, 2020

*Grifols, S.A. (GRFS)
Grifols SA of Spain is a global specialist in blood plasma based products. While the current move to use plasma to halt covid-19 may not work, I think the concept is worth investing in. So, buy GRFS on Nasdaq. Benzinga’s co-host Dennis Dick thinks plasma stocks are discredited by the FDA rush to approve trials. I don’t agree, and the fact that a Hong Konger who had Covid-19 in April got sick with a different variant last month merely indicates that like regular flu, there are variations in coronavirus.
Vivian Lewis, Global Investing, global-investing.com, 212-758-9480, August 25, 2020

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