Are These Stocks Nearing A Big Breakout? – Exact Sciences Corporation (EXAS), Ultrapar Participacoes S.A. (UGP)

Exact Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ: EXAS) shares are -20.27% down in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved -2.07% or -$1.56 lower in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +109.16% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -30.15% down YTD and -17.47% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -5.81% and -22.45% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On January 10, 2020, BTIG Research recommended the EXAS stock is a Buy, while earlier, Evercore ISI had Initiated the stock as a Outperform on April 02, 2020. 15 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 1.30 to suggest that the EXAS stock is a “Strong Buy. 0 of the 15 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 14 recommend buying, with 1 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $73.73 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $116.50. The forecasts give the Exact Sciences Corporation stock a price target range of $135.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $107.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 45.39% or 31.09%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to increase 7.90% in the current quarter to -$0.53, down from the -$0.31 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$2.25, up 54.30% from -$0.64 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.87 and -$0.15. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of -$1.37 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 47 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 31 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 353,032 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 357,859. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 109,072 and 144,625 in purchases and sales respectively.

Conroy Kevin T, a President and CEO at the company, sold 25,198 shares worth $2.36 million at $93.80 per share on Aug 03. The General Manager, International had earlier sold another 7,964 EXAS shares valued at $0.68 million on Aug 19. The shares were sold at $84.90 per share. Carey Thomas D. (Director) sold 30,620 shares at $94.00 per share on Jul 31 for a total of $2.88 million while LEVANGIE DANIEL J, (Director) sold 9,865 shares on Jul 31 for $0.93 million with each share fetching $94.00.

Ultrapar Participacoes S.A. (NYSE:UGP), on the other hand, is trading around $3.77 with a market cap of $3.98B and analyst research firms have a positive stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $4.16 and spell out a more modest performance – a 9.38% return. Some analysts are even forecasting $0.16 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

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

Company balance sheet and cash flow

UGP’s operating margin was positive on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at 1.50%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $159.65 million. This represented a 94.61% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $2.96 billion. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS inclined $0.01 on the year-over-year period, growing to $0.02 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 $6.36 billion from $7.46 billion over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $592.11 million while total current assets were at $2.92 billion. The cash flow from operating activities totaled $336.21 million, significantly lower than the $389.75 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $270.1 million.

Major holders

Insiders own 26.80% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 3.40% with a share float percentage of 805.39M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Ultrapar Participacoes S.A. having a total of 124 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Renaissance Technologies, LLC with over 8.44 million shares worth more than $28.62 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Renaissance Technologies, LLC held 18.14% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Blackrock Inc., with the investment firm holding over 5.2 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $17.63 million and represent 11.17% of shares outstanding.