Well positioned to deliver growth? – DURECT Corporation (DRRX), Elastic N.V. (ESTC)

DURECT Corporation (NASDAQ: DRRX) shares are -52.11% down in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved -3.70% or -$0.07 lower in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +91.54% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -40.13% down YTD and -25.71% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -12.08% and -6.19% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On January 31, 2020, B. Riley FBR recommended the DRRX stock is a Buy, while earlier, Oppenheimer had Initiated the stock as a Outperform on July 31, 2020. 4 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 1.70 to suggest that the DRRX stock is a “Strong Buy. 0 of the 4 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 4 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $1.82. The forecasts give the DURECT Corporation stock a price target range of $7.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $5.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 74.0% or 63.6%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 600.00% in the current quarter to -$0.04, down from the -$0.01 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$0.06, up 23.20% from -$0.12 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.05 and -$0.04. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of -$0.21 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 5 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 3 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 285,318 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 97,208. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 57,820 and 57,820 in purchases and sales respectively.

Bleichroeder LP, a 10% Owner at the company, sold 39,388 shares worth $98525.0 at $2.50 per share on May 26. The Sr. VP Operations & Corp QA had earlier sold another 57,820 DRRX shares valued at $0.14 million on Jun 03. The shares were sold at $2.45 per share. Bleichroeder LP (10% Owner) bought 75,000 shares at $1.65 per share on Feb 06 for a total of $0.12 million while Bleichroeder LP, (10% Owner) bought 74,998 shares on Feb 05 for $0.13 million with each share fetching $1.69.

Elastic N.V. (NYSE:ESTC), on the other hand, is trading around $110.39 with a market cap of $9.53B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $127.15 and spell out a more modest performance – a 13.18% return. Some analysts are even forecasting -$0.74 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the Elastic N.V. (ESTC) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

ESTC’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -36.10%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $124.2 million. This represented a -0.46% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $123.62 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.37 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.37 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Oct 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $803.91 million from $741.85 million over the previous quarter. The cash flow from operating activities totaled -$30.56 million, significantly lower than the -$23.94 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$35.63 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 107 times at Elastic N.V. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 35 times and accounting for 808,291 shares. Insider sales totaled 1,596,291 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 72 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are -37.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 22.55M shares after the latest sales, with -3.40% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 10.60% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 77.50% with a share float percentage of 63.78M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Elastic N.V. having a total of 308 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are FMR, LLC with over 8.53 million shares worth more than $786.12 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, FMR, LLC held 10.00% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Sylebra Capital Ltd, with the investment firm holding over 5.82 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $536.96 million and represent 6.83% of shares outstanding.