Weekly Performance Review Jan. 11th – 15th, 2021

Stocks took a breather last week, closing down more than 1% after posting record highs the week prior. Wells Fargo and JP Morgan released earnings last week, kicking off what promises to be an eventful earnings season.  In economic news, President-elect Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion fiscal-stimulus plan that aims to counter the effects of COVID-19.  With vaccine distributions falling well short of expectations and new coronavirus strains being detected, investors are worried that economic lockdowns could be here to stay for a while longer.  Driving the need for more fiscal stimulus are signs that the job market is once again under stress, as initial claims saw a spike for the week ending January 9.  We think that although the near-term outlook is mixed, historic monetary and fiscal stimulus is a tailwind for stocks, which will also benefit once vaccine-distribution delays have been addressed.

Continue reading to find out how our stock picks did for the week.  

01-12-2021_PXD down 4.41%

While some smaller energy firms are clearly hurting, Pioneer hasn’t wasted the crisis and continues to consolidate market share as it looks to the future.  Despite gaining more than 35% over the past six months, PXD has the potential to grow further based on its continued business growth, and favorable earnings and revenue outlook.

Analyst sentiment, which gives a good sense of a stock’s future price movement, is good  for PXD. An average broker rating of 1.33 indicates a favorable analyst sentiment. Of 20 Wall Street Analysts that rated the stock, 18 rated it “Strong Buy”, there is 1 “Buy” rating and 1 “Hold” rating.

Analysts expect PXD’s revenues to rise 21% year-over-year to $1.32 billion in the current quarter ending March 31, 2021. The consensus EPS estimate $1.25 for the current quarter indicates an 8.7% rise from the year-ago value. The company has an impressive earnings surprise history; it beat the Street EPS estimates in three  of the trailing four quarters. This outlook should keep PXD’s price momentum alive in the near term.

01-13-2021_PRG down 2%

If the name isn’t familiar, however, that’s because PROG Holdings has only been trading in its current form for a couple of months. The company previously operated under the Aaron’s banner; that rent-to-own business was spun off at the start of December as The Aaron’s Company (AAN).

For Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba “Buy”, PROG‘s commercial equipment finance and leasing services provider is a standout in the space based on the fact that it boasts a substantial total available market and its competition for national retail partners is relatively limited. He also thinks the company can deliver additional revenue growth by “fully integrating” its own platform with e-commerce channels offered by its current retail partners and via direct marketing to its customers.

All told, the stock has eight “Buy” ratings, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. That includes five “Buys” issued over the past three months. Moreover, a $70 price target implies the stock could run another 22% over the next year, which should put it among the best stocks in the financial sector. 

1-14-2021_CRSP up 1.47%

CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP). CRISPR is one of several companies founded to commercialize the gene editing technique CRISPR-Cas9, for which Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute and Jennifer Doudna of UC-Berkeley won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. CRISPR itself was co-founded by Charpentier, Shaun Foy and Rodger Novak, who is president and chairman.

CRISPR currently has a treatment for sickle cell disease, as well as three anti-cancer compounds, in early-stage studies. It has six more compounds in the research stage.

01-15-2021_SYK up 0.6%

Robotic surgery has been rapidly gaining traction, owing to the precision that it offered. Notably, the global surgical robotics market is expected to witness a CAGR of about 21% during 2021 to 2026, per a report by Express Market Research. However, because of the pandemic, the usage of robots in other areas of healthcare also increased as they are being used to maintain social distancing while ensuring continued interaction between doctors and patients.  Strong markets include the U.S., Australia, Germany, Canada, and especially China.  

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity say Stryker should be a “core position for growth-oriented investors.” 

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings increased 2.9% over the past 90 days. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 26.7%.

Based on 18 analysts offering recommendations, 12 rate the stock a Strong Buy.  There is 1 Moderate Buy rating, 4 Hold ratings, and 1 analyst rates the stock a Sell.  Argus Research analysts rate SYK a Buy and see the stock hitting $265 per share over the next 12 months.

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