3 Stocks That Should Bounce Back Once Coronavirus Fears Fade


Is now the right time to invest in stocks? It’s possible that even the most gurulike among Wall Street observers will find the question hard to answer. The markets have yoyoed dramatically over the last couple of weeks. After posting losses not seen since the 2008 financial meltdown, the S&P 500 closed last week with the best one-day point gain since 2008 

As the British investor John Templeton once said“the time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” 

The coronavirus outbreak has affected the investment market worldwideresulting in a number of enticing entry points, according to some analysts. 

With this in mind, using TipRanks’ Stock Screener tool, we were able to get the scoop on 3 stocks reeling from the virus’ impact, but poised for a strong turnaround once the coronavirus outbreak settles 

Live Nation Entertainment (LYV) 

The show must go on, they say. Or possibly paused to restart at a later date, as things currently stand. Amongst the companies taking a hit from the impact of COVID-19, are those who rely on the gatherings of vast crowds. Sports events are likely to feel the pinch in the near-term, along with Live Nation’s bread and butter, live gigs and events. Shares of the live entertainment company have been hit hard, falling more than 41% over the last month. 

Recent cancellation announcements made by the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida are likely to be followed by others in the days ahead.  

Things would probably be panning out quite differently for Live Nation had business commenced as usual. The recent coronavirus driven pullback comes off the back of a strong Q4 report. Live Nation reported fourth quarter revenue of $2.89 billion, an 11% year-over-year increase. The figure also lands above the $2.80 billion consensus estimate. A solid showing in the Concerts segment, which posted revenue of $2.30 billionbeating the Street’s call for $2.20 billion and displaying a year-over-year gain of 12%, is to thank for the result. 

Looking ahead, the company said it has already sold 38 million tickets for shows in 2020, indicating a 10% increase from the same period last yearConfirmed arena, stadiums and amphitheater shows are up 30% year-over-year. 

Cowen’s Stephen Glagola argues “fear of coronavirus is a buying opportunity.” The analyst believes the current valuation is very attractive with shares now trading at~14x our 2021 EV/EBITDA.” 

The analyst added, “The bulk of Live Nation’s 2020 concert season (~70% of expected attendance) runs from June through December. In the scenario COVID-19 virus continues to propagate in the U.S. and Europe, management noted they have the flexibility of re-routing/ rescheduling tours, and artists are largely paid when the show occurs helping to limit costs. 70% of FY20 budgeted high-margin sponsorship revenue is committed under multi-year contracts dispersed across the company’s diversified concerts portfolio (now in all genres, geographies, and venue types). 

Glagola, therefore, reiterated an Outperform on LYV, along with an $85 price target. Should the target be met, investors will be pocketing a 98% gain in the next 12 months.  

The Street is with the Cowen analyst. 3 additional Buy ratings add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. At $81.67, the average price target presents possible upside of 91%. (See Live Nation price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks) Planet Fitness (PLNT) 

We move on to an entirely different industry, but one presented with a similar problem right now. This affordable gym chain with an ‘everyone is welcome’ motto has been posting losses in the market. So far, PLNT stock is down by 28% in 2020.  

Planet Fitness monthly plans can cost only $10 a month, the affordability playing a major factor in its growth story. The cheap price tag could also play a part in people’s willingness to hold onto their memberships until the fear of catching the virus subsides. On the other hand, coronavirus-related fears are likely to result in fewer new memberships, which could lead to a significant deceleration in Planet Fitness’ growth in the quarters ahead. 

PLNT posted solid beats in its latest quarterly statement; EPS of $0.44 beat the estimate by $0.03. At $191.51 million, revenue grew year-over-year by 9.8%, and beat the Street’s forecast by $1.93 million. The crucial franchise segment grew 30%, which was much stronger-than-anticipated—with same-store sales rising 8.6%.  

The results, though, yielded a frosty reception, as investors were disappointed when 2020 guidance landed below the estimatesin the coming year, management expects revenue to increase by only 12%, below the 20% growth achieved in 2019. 

Guggenheim’s John Heinbockel believes the conservative guidance is consistent with the company’s history and tells investors to “buy on weakness.”  

Heinbockel said, “The unique PLNT secular growth story is intact, with 4Q EBITDA rising a stronger-than-we-expected 23% and a conservative initial 2020 guide laying the groundwork for another beat and raise year. Value-oriented membership share gains, moderate pricing power, and scale-related margin expansion are driving well above average, highly visible and capital-light sales/EBITDA growth. This growth not only merits the current premium valuation, but likely deserves modest expansion. 

As a result, the 4-star analyst maintained a Buy rating on PLNT and believes a share price of $85 will be attained over the next 12 months, indicating potential upside of 57%. (To watch Heinbockel’s track record, click here) 

Looking at the consensus breakdown, 6 Buys in addition to 3 Holds coalesce into a Moderate Buy consensus rating for PLNT. The analysts forecast 63upside, should the average price target of $87.88 be met over the coming months. (See PLNT stock-price forecast on TipRanks)Mustang Bio Inc (MBIO)  

Last on our list is Mustang Bio. Interestingly, out of the three names on the list, Mustang has been hit the hardest. Year-to-date, MBIO’s share price is down by 50%. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Kristen Kluska believes a turnaround is in the cards for MBIO as she sees no fundamental reason outside of overall stock pressure related to COVID-19,” for the pullback. 

Mustang develops next generation cell and gene therapies that could potentially serve as cures for hematologic cancers and rare genetic diseases. The company’s pipeline has a number of drugs in various stages of development, but one is currently leading the way. The company is developing a gene therapy for XSCID (X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency), commonly known as “bubble boy” disease, a rare genetic condition that results in a severely impaired immune system.  

Patients with XSCID are often forced to live in sterile environments as they are very susceptible to infections. The disease could finally have a treatment or even a cure, should Mustang’s initial promising data results hold up in ongoing and future trials. 

Kluska said, XSCID is an indication that has been studied for many years, and the severity is well understood, which has led to newborn screening implementation in all 50 states. All patients from the St. Jude trial, presented at ASH 2019 remain alive, up to the age of 39.9 months. We believe this echoes the FDA comments that a drug may be clearly showing effect if survivability trends are observed in even just a few patients… We believe a current market cap of ~$130 million does not reflect the potential of Mustang’s pipeline that includes ex-vivo gene therapies and CAR-T therapies of ~ten indications. 

Bearing this in mind, Kluska reiterated her Overweight rating on MBIO along with a $7 price target. This conveys the analyst’s confidence in Mustang’s ability to soar 241% in the next year(To watch Kluska’s track record, click here) 

Currently, there are only two other analysts with a view on the rare disease fighter’s prospects. Both, though, rate the biotech a Buy, therefore, bestowing Strong Buy status on Mustang. The average price target is even higher than Kluska’s, and at $10, implies potential upside of an impressive 388%. (See Mustang Bio stock analysis on TipRanks)

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