Basic physics, and the evidence of our own eyes, tells us that what goes up must come down. But the NASDAQ is over 13,000, and the S&P 500 is over 3,800, and some market watchers are starting to wonder where the ceiling is.
Banking giant JPMorgan investigates that question, seeking to find out just how much room the bulls have left to run in the current market conditions.
Looking back to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the financial crisis of 2008, the bank’s global markets strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou notes that, among stocks, bonds, and cash, the average equity holding has been 42.3%. He points out that this ‘neutral’ level was breach in November, and equity allocations now are nearer 43.8%.
This increase from the average would imply that there may not be much room for stocks to keep going up – except that the post-Lehman equity allocation high, reached in January 2018, was 47.6%. To state the obvious, we’re not there yet. Panigirtzoglou sees the ongoing expansion of the M2 monetary base fueling the stock boom, and insulating it from changes in the bond markets.
Against this backdrop, JPMorgan analysts are pounding the table on two stocks in particular, noting that each could surge over 30% in the year ahead. We ran the the two through TipRanks database to see what other Wall Street’s analysts have to say about them.
We will start with ContextLogic, the parent company of Wish.com. This e-commerce marketplace has become known for its social media ads, both for their ubiquitous presence and their entertainment value. Wish has a knack for drawing traffic and customers – it has become the third-largest online retail site it the US, with over 100 million monthly visitors and more than 150 million items listed for sale. The company’s revenue exceeds $2 billion annually.
The company’s growth is being driven by several factors: the high monthly traffic, the large – and largely untapped – e-commerce customer base of low-income households looking for budget goods, and worldwide network of more than 500 million merchants.
WISH ran up a great deal of hype in December, when it held its IPO – and saw the price drop nearly 17% in the first trading day. The offering was priced at $24 per share, but the stock closed its first day trading at $20.05. Even so, the company still raised $1.1 billion in its first day on the market, and currently boasts a market cap of $14.5 billion.
Covering the stock for JPM, 5-star analyst Doug Anmuth wrote: “We believe Wish has significant growth potential with current penetration of ~3% of the global target market estimated at 1B+ households, and less than 1% share of the overall $2.1T global mobile commerce market. Wish utilizes data science to drive all aspects of its business from user acquisition to pricing to logistics, which helps the company stay nimble and should drive greater global scale over time. We expect Wish to deliver more consistent 20s%+ growth over the next couple years…”
To this end, Anmuth rates WISH an Overweight (i.e. Buy), and his $30 price target implies a 43% upside potential for the next 12 months. (To watch Anmuth’s track record, click here)
Wall Street is quite positive on this ‘Moderate Buy’ stock: WISH has received 8 ‘buy’ and 4 ‘hold’ ratings in the last three months. Running the numbers across the Street, the 12-month average price target lands at $26, representing about 24% upside potential. (See WISH stock analysis on TipRanks)
Passage Bio (PASG)
The second JPM pick we’re looking at is Passage Bio, a genetic medicines company. Passage is focused on developing treatments for rare, life-threatening, monogenic central nervous system disorders, using an adeno-associated virus delivery system. Monogenic disorders are caused by a mutation or defect in a single gene; the adeno-associated virus system is tailored to deliver a corrected gene directly into affected cells.
The company currently has three main drug candidates under development: PBGM01, a treatment for GM1 gangliosidosis; PBFT02, to treat frontotemporal dementia; and PBKR03 as a treatment for Krabbe disease. All three are in the IND-enabling phase of the development cycle, and the company announced earlier this month that PBGM01 has received FDA approval to advance to Phase 1/2 trial. PBFT02 and PBKR03 are both scheduled to initiate Phase 1/2 later in 1H20.
The upbeat outlook for Passage’s research program underlies the JPM stance on the stock. 5-star analyst Anupam Rama has upgraded his firm’s rating from Neutral to Overweight and set a price target of $35, indicating a potential ~34% upside on the one-year horizon. (To watch Rama’s track record, click here)
Backing his upgrade, Rama notes the FDA clearance on PBGM01 and writes, “[We] expect focus to return to the upcoming GM1 data mid-year, which will represent the key initial clinical catalyst for the company. Based on known pre-clinical data, we would look for the initial PBGM01 GM1 data to not only de-risk the program itself but also the company’s broader platform.”
The analyst consensus on PASG is not unanimous, but almost. The Strong Buy consensus rating is supported by 3 Buys against a single Hold. Shares sell for $26.25, and the average price target of $32.83 indicates an upside of ~25%. (See PASG stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.