Stocks To Watch With Trade Uncertainty This High – Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (SPCE), Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc. (XERS)

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) shares are 49.61% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved -0.35% or -$0.06 lower in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +90.73% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -59.33% down YTD and 1.41% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -0.17% and -24.77% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On March 24, 2020, Morgan Stanley recommended the SPCE stock is a Overweight, while earlier, Alembic Global Advisors had Initiated the stock as a Overweight on July 13, 2020. 4 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.20 to suggest that the SPCE stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 4 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 3 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $17.28 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $25.75. The forecasts give the Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. stock a price target range of $29.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $22.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 40.41% or 21.45%.

Earnings Forecast

For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$1.06, down -17.50% from -$1.09 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.28 and -$0.16. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of -$0.56 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 30 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 8 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 34,342,668 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 232,348,054. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 601,604 and 104,507,616 in purchases and sales respectively.

Vieco 10 Ltd, a 10% Owner at the company, sold 170,000 shares worth $2.76 million at $16.24 per share on Jun 02. The 10% Owner had earlier sold another 12,330,000 SPCE shares valued at $185.57 million on Jun 05. The shares were sold at $15.05 per share. Vieco 10 Ltd (10% Owner) sold 20,650,000 shares at $15.00 per share on May 22 for a total of $309.75 million while Vieco 10 Ltd, (10% Owner) sold 481,367 shares on May 19 for $7.74 million with each share fetching $16.09.

Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:XERS), on the other hand, is trading around $3.85 with a market cap of $182.41M and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Some analysts are even forecasting -$2.6 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc. (XERS) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

XERS’s operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $23.23 million. This represented a -1046.13% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $2.03 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.63 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$1.28 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Sep 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $165.81 million from $116.46 million over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $41.53 million while total current assets were at $156.36 million. The cash flow from operating activities totaled -$52.7 million, significantly lower than the -$44.19 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$52.88 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 8 times at Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 8 times and accounting for 78,854 shares. Insider sales totaled 0 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 0 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are 8.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 1.19M shares after the latest sales, with 62.80% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 2.50% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 72.10% with a share float percentage of 37.53M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Xeris Pharmaceuticals Inc. having a total of 86 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Sessa Capital IM, L.P. with over 4.17 million shares worth more than $11.1 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Sessa Capital IM, L.P. held 9.02% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Deerfield Management Company, L.P. (Series C), with the investment firm holding over 3.18 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $8.45 million and represent 6.87% of shares outstanding.