3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks Jefferies Thinks Are Set to Rip Higher


Given the market’s latest rally, is it smooth sailing from here? Judging by recent trading activity, some investors are optimistic that this is in fact the case.

Jefferies analyst Steven DeSanctis told clients that funds containing stocks from the cyclical sector have seen a $1.5 billion influx since October 4. Stocks in this space can include consumer discretionary, energy as well as information technology names, and tend to perform well when the market is prospering. He added that investors have shifted away from bond proxies, which are seen as a go-to when the economy trends downward.

“Although fund flows were muted this past week, under the surface we are seeing some significant changes,” DeSanctis stated.

We’ve used TipRanks’ Stock Screener tool to further sort Jefferies’ list of stocks to watch for the coming year. These names have earned the rest of the Street’s support as each sports a “Strong Buy” consensus rating. This is based on the calls published by all of the other analysts covering the stock over the last three months. Let’s jump right in.

Deciphera (DCPH)

Deciphera wants to change the way cancer is treated using its proprietary Kinase Switch Control inhibitor platform. Its lead candidate, ripretinib, was designed as a therapy for digestive tract cancer, with DCPH’s pipeline containing two other products in earlier development.

Coming on the heels of promising trial data, Jefferies analyst Eun Yang believes this biotech is well positioned for strong long-term growth.

Based on the findings from the Phase 3 INVICTUS trial for ripretinib, the drug was able to cut the risk of disease progression or death by 85% compared to the placebo. Not to mention it more than doubled median overall survival. Yang noted that these results substantially reduce the risks of the drug and give ripretinib the potential to “be the best-in-class therapy”.

If that isn’t enough, the analyst predicts peak revenue of $830 million given the potential for an even larger ripretinib market opportunity based on the Phase 3 INTRIGUE trial. That being said, data from this trial isn’t expected until the end of 2020.

With its additional candidates also standing to drive upside once further proof-of-concept is available, Yang is convinced that now is the time to buy. This conclusion prompted the 5-star analyst to initiate coverage as well as set a $47 price target. (To watch Yang’s track record, click here)

Similarly, other Wall Street analysts like what they’re seeing. With 11 Buy ratings vs 1 Hold received in the last three months, the stock earns a ‘Strong Buy’ Street consensus. At a $53.78 average price target, analysts see 20% upside potential in store for DCPH. (See Deciphera stock analysis on TipRanks)

LPL Financial (LPLA)

LPL Financial offers financial services as well as customer service to independent financial advisors. Despite the fact that interest rates pose a threat to the company, several analysts argue that its business strategy has put it on the path towards future gains.

Jefferies’ Gerald O’Hara cites both the fee-based advisory segment and the independent employee channel as representing key points of strength. Cerulli estimates point to the U.S. retail investment market increasing from its current value of $27 trillion to reach or surpass $32 trillion by 2022, with 75% of this being advice driven. This lends itself to O’Hara’s conclusion that “LPLA is positioned to take share within the $5 trillion fee-based segment (~2% market share) and $4 trillion independent employee channel.”

On top of this, management is looking to further expand its capabilities across the advice driven wealth management spectrum. “The expanded addressable market (Play 1) will enable LPLA to broaden its opportunity set from about 25% of the wealth management market, to over 60% as it looks to increase penetration on the fee-based businesses and enter a portion of the approximately $11 trillion traditional employee segment,” O’Hara commented.

With LPLA primed to see additional upside from higher fee portfolio construction and premium services in the next few years, the five-star analyst tells investors that the current discounted share price represents a unique buying opportunity. As a result, he initiated coverage with a Buy and set a $96 price target, suggesting 16% upside potential. (To watch O’Hara’s track record, click here)

In general, the rest of the Street is on the same page. 4 Buy ratings compared to 1 Hold assigned in the last three months give it a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus. At the $97.20 average price target, shares could surge 18% over the next twelve months. (See LPL Financial stock analysis on TipRanks)

IGM Biosciences (IGMS)

Also fighting the good fight against cancer, IGM Biosciences is developing its treatments utilizing engineered IgM antibodies. As the company’s IgM-based therapeutics represent a unique approach with the potential to improve efficacy and safety, it’s no wonder Wall Street has this biotech under its microscope.

“IGM Biosciences has addressed many of these challenges, making advancements in IgM protein engineering, as well as antibody capture and purification. A key engineering advancement is the ability to convert IgM antibodies into T cell engagers and vehicles for targeted tumor delivery of cytokines and immunostimulatory agents,” explained Jefferies’ Biren Amin.

IGMS is especially noteworthy thanks to its lead product candidate, IGM-2323. The drug is a biospecific IgM T-cell engager, with preclinical data implying that it has a greater potency in killing Rituximab resistant cell lines as well as shows overall lower levels of cytokine release in cell lines and non-human primates. This means that the drug could produce greater clinical responses with an improved CRS profile compared to current IgG based biospecifics and CAR-T therapies.

Adding to the good news, IGMS is trying to target Dr5 to treat solid tumors and hematological malignancies. If the company can achieve this using its IgM antibody, the implications could be monumental as other attempts to target Dr5 have been unsuccessful.

Based on all of the above factors, Amin initiated coverage with a Buy. Along with this bullish call, the 5-star analyst gave IGMS a $25 price target. (To watch Amin’s track record, click here)

With only Buy recommendations issued over the last three months, the message is clear: IGMS is a ‘Strong Buy.’ The biotech also boasts 22% upside potential from the current share price. (See IGM Biosciences stock analysis on TipRanks)

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