Investors have great interest in VBI Vaccines Inc. (VBIV), Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (AKCA)

VBI Vaccines Inc. (NASDAQ: VBIV) shares are 176.09% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved -10.56% or -$0.45 lower in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +452.17% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -45.02% down YTD and 88.61% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is 16.34% and -11.81% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On January 16, 2019, Oppenheimer recommended the VBIV stock is a Outperform, while earlier, Raymond James had Upgrade the stock as a Strong Buy on August 27, 2020. 4 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 1.50 to suggest that the VBIV 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 $3.81. The forecasts give the VBI Vaccines Inc. stock a price target range of $9.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $3.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 57.67% or -27.0%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to decrease -36.80% in the current quarter to -$0.22, up from the -$0.24 reported in the same quarter a year ago. For the current year, earnings should grow to an average of -$0.88, up 4.00% from -$0.88 reported last year. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.21 and -$0.21. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of -$0.77 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 0 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 29,295,409 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 0. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 0 and 0 in purchases and sales respectively.

Diaz-Mitoma Francisco, a Chief Medical Officer at the company, bought 40,000 shares worth $20000.0 at $0.50 per share on Oct 04. The 10% Owner had earlier bought another 9,090,909 VBIV shares valued at $10.0 million on Apr 24. The shares were bought at $1.10 per share. Beattie Nell (Chief Business Officer) bought 10,000 shares at $0.48 per share on Oct 01 for a total of $4822.0 while McNulty Christopher, (CFO and Head of BD) bought 12,000 shares on Oct 01 for $5676.0 with each share fetching $0.47.

Akcea Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:AKCA), on the other hand, is trading around $18.24 with a market cap of $1.92B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Some analysts are even forecasting -$1.89 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

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

Company balance sheet and cash flow

AKCA’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -13.60%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $68.47 million. This represented a -205.97% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $22.38 million. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS declined -$0.49 on the year-over-year period, shrinking to -$0.40 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 $527.94 million from $559.92 million over the previous quarter. Short term investments amounted to $254.14 million while total current assets were at $428.17 million. The cash flow from operating activities totaled -$77.53 million, significantly lower than the $49.82 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was -$78.09 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 14 times at Akcea Therapeutics Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 9 times and accounting for 269,380 shares. Insider sales totaled 13,992 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 5 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are 4.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 84.2M shares after the latest sales, with 0.30% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 0.50% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 19.80% with a share float percentage of 17.40M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with Akcea Therapeutics Inc. having a total of 126 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are FMR, LLC with over 10.61 million shares worth more than $145.38 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, FMR, LLC held 10.44% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Blackrock Inc., with the investment firm holding over 2.3 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $31.54 million and represent 2.27% of shares outstanding.