2U Inc. (TWOU) And Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (SGMO) Saying Scary Stuff?

2U Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU) shares are 83.58% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 6.40% or $2.65 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +282.62% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -10.96% down YTD and 27.17% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is 14.30% and -8.55% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On July 16, 2020, Jefferies recommended the TWOU stock is a Buy, while earlier, Credit Suisse had Upgrade the stock as a Outperform on July 31, 2020. 15 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.00 to suggest that the TWOU stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 15 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 9 recommend buying, with 1 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $44.04 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $50.75. The forecasts give the 2U Inc. stock a price target range of $65.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $40.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 32.25% or -10.1%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 12.80% in the current quarter to -$0.25, up from the -$0.41 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$0.99, up 29.40% from -$1.17 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.2 and $0.11. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of -$0.64 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 40 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 14 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 703,621 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 395,378. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 12,662 and 366,900 in purchases and sales respectively.

Paucek Christopher J, a Chief Executive Officer at the company, sold 150,000 shares worth $5.94 million at $39.62 per share on Jul 02. The Chief Technology Officer had earlier sold another 33,900 TWOU shares valued at $1.59 million on Jul 31. The shares were sold at $47.00 per share. Paucek Christopher J (Chief Executive Officer) sold 150,000 shares at $38.12 per share on Jul 01 for a total of $5.72 million while Kenigsberg James, (Chief Technology Officer) sold 33,000 shares on Jun 12 for $1.08 million with each share fetching $32.87.

Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:SGMO), on the other hand, is trading around $9.99 with a market cap of $1.40B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Some analysts are even forecasting -$1.14 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

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

Company balance sheet and cash flow

SGMO’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -98.70%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at -$37.9 million. This represented a 275.83% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $21.55 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.26 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.26 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 $894.66 million from $584.28 million over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $197.41 million while total current assets were at $679.4 million. The cash flow from operating activities totaled $141.1 million, significantly higher than the -$84.71 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $134.41 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 24 times at Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 20 times and accounting for 275,907 shares. Insider sales totaled 65,554 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 4 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are 16.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 30.41M shares after the latest sales, with 3.00% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 0.20% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 55.90% with a share float percentage of 116.11M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. having a total of 263 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Blackrock Inc. with over 10.35 million shares worth more than $92.7 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Blackrock Inc. held 7.34% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Vanguard Group, Inc. (The), with the investment firm holding over 8.47 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $75.91 million and represent 6.01% of shares outstanding.