A focus on opportunistic stocks: Moderna Inc. (MRNA), Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. (ITUB)

Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) shares are 260.43% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 6.42% or $4.25 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +298.76% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -25.95% down YTD and 26.94% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is 3.68% and -13.49% over the month.

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Analyst Recommendations

On July 20, 2020, JP Morgan recommended the MRNA stock is a Neutral, while earlier, SVB Leerink had Initiated the stock as a Mkt Perform on July 23, 2020. 15 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 1.90 to suggest that the MRNA stock is a “Strong Buy. 0 of the 15 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 12 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $70.50 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $91.90. The forecasts give the Moderna Inc. stock a price target range of $134.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $58.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 47.39% or -21.55%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 11.40% in the current quarter to -$0.44, down from the -$0.37 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$1.5, up 443.60% from -$1.55 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.61 and $0.36. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of $2.31 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 72 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 502 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 3,229,080 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 39,088,687. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 1,191,293 and 12,666,031 in purchases and sales respectively.

Zaks Tal Zvi, a Chief Medical Officer at the company, sold 25,000 shares worth $1.62 million at $64.99 per share on Aug 24. The President had earlier sold another 20,000 MRNA shares valued at $1.3 million on Aug 24. The shares were sold at $64.99 per share. Bancel Stephane (Chief Executive Officer) sold 11,046 shares at $66.69 per share on Aug 21 for a total of $0.74 million while Bancel Stephane, (Chief Executive Officer) sold 18,824 shares on Aug 20 for $1.28 million with each share fetching $67.80.

Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. (NYSE:ITUB), on the other hand, is trading around $4.22 with a market cap of $41.18B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $6.48 and spell out a more modest performance – a 34.88% return. Some analysts are even forecasting $0.4 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. (ITUB) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

ITUB’s operating margin was positive on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at 17.90%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $1.92 billion. This represented a 70.2% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $6.44 billion. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.04 on the year-over-year period, growing to $0.17 as given in the last earnings report.

The cash flow from operating activities totaled $12.9 billion, significantly higher than the $1.94 billion reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $12.78 billion.

Major holders

Insiders own 52.10% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 22.90% with a share float percentage of 5.30B. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. having a total of 479 institutions that hold shares in the company.

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