This year, we saw long red candles replacing clowns as the ultimate symbol of horror. It has given sleepless nights to not just investors, but companies, economists and world leaders as well. However, for some, the pandemic acted as a propeller that has long been awaiting action.
You may, or may not have missed these rallies. But they reveal the initial indications of where the market could be headed post the pandemic crisis.
NASDAQ: INO | YTD growth: 353%
Inovio was already at the forefront of COVID-19 research, even before the pandemic was christened by this name. In the recent earnings conference call, the company had said that it expects preliminary results from the Phase 1 trial of its candidate INO-4800 by the end of June, which explains the recent spike in interest.
According to the Pennsylvania-based firm, vaccine design to human dosing was achieved in a short span of 83 days. Phase 2/3 trials are planned to be initiated in July or August, and this will happen alongside Phase 1 trials in China and South Korea.
Earlier today, the company reported positive results from tests conducted on animals, sending the stock further up. The trials are funded by government and non-government entities including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the Department of Defense.
NASDAQ: MRNA | YTD growth: 273%
Second on the list is another biotech firm in the COVID-19 vaccine race. Moderna is ahead of Inovio, with its vaccine currently in the Phase 2 stage. The Massachusetts, Cambridge-based biotech firm tested three dosing regimens of mRNA-1273, its coronavirus vaccine, in healthy adults aged between 18 and 55. Earlier this week, the stock shot up to a record high after interim test data showed no grade 4 adverse events in human trials.
In an earlier study, the vaccine was found to have prevented the replication of the virus in mice. Phase 3 study of the trial is expected to start in early 2Q20.
Meanwhile, some experts have stated that the data provided by Moderna is insufficient to truly assess its efficacy and it’s better to wait for the actual results.
Despite the spike, Moderna’s average price target is about 27% above its current price. However, even the current trading price of $73 is quite appalling to some investors, given the company doesn’t have any commercial products yet.
NYSE: FVRR | YTD growth: 174%
The Israeli freelance marketplace saw accelerated growth in all verticals since the lockdowns started and currently expects to become profitable a year earlier than initially expected. Upbeat results in the recently-ended first quarter and the acceleration witnessed in customer addition also prompted the company to raise its full-year guidance, while many others were forced to suspend it.
In an interview with AlphaStreet, the company said digital content-related categories such as gaming, social media, online lessons and ebooks were seeing the biggest growth, as more people around the world were forced to be back at home.
Zoom Video Communications
NASDAQ: ZM | YTD growth: 154%
This is probably a no-brainer. Despite consecutive privacy breaches and security issues, the video conferencing firm has continued to rally throughout the first five months of this year. The robust increase in userbase driven by the lockdown has also prompted the firm to raise CapEx. The company recently announced that it would open two new facilities for research and development in Pittsburgh and Phoenix and that workforce would be increased by around 60%.
While the increasing competition from bigger tech companies including Google and Facebook is a genuine threat to Zoom’s future growth, the management is likely to address this during the upcoming earnings conference call, which is scheduled for June 2.
NASDAQ: DDOG | YTD growth: 89%
Since it’s IPO in September last year, the company has remained a favorite among cloud investors. With diverse offerings, Datadog has been cross-selling different cloud solutions to enterprises, turning in consistent revenue growth sans cash burn.
The 10-year-old company has also inked partnerships with major cloud infrastructure companies including Google Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure and Red Hat. Datadog’s client list includes industries that were both hurt and helped by the global pandemic, making it difficult to assess the net impact, according to CEO Olivier Pomel.
Following Q1 results, the company also raised its full-year outlook, sending out more positive signals about the firm.
NYSE: SHOP | YTD growth: 87%
The e-commerce firm witnessed strong subscription growth in the first quarter as people switched to online shopping en masse and merchants moved to online platforms to sell their products.
It has achieved double-digit annual revenue growth consistently after going public five years ago. In a way, the pandemic-related shutdown has come as a blessing in disguise for the company as traditional merchants are turning to e-commerce sites to remain in business.
Following the market-wide slump in February, the stock has jumped over 120% as investors realized the value the Ottawa-based company offered in a more digitalized post-pandemic world.
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The US is now back in the ring with its nemesis China for the second round. This time, the US administration has wasted no time in delivering a massive blow,