Penny Stocks That Turned Heads Over The Last 52 Weeks
When it comes to finding penny stocks to buy, everyone has the same goal. Naturally, that goal is to make money and repeat the process. But with so many 1 and 2-day breakouts captivating the attention of retail traders, it's easy to forget that these cheap shares aren't solely "built for speed," so to speak. In many other cases, these companies represent early-stage opportunities for both companies and investors. Though there is a much higher risk of focusing on early-stage companies versus well-established ones, the potential rewards can be that much greater.
So is investing in penny stocks a good choice? This is a question I'm sure many are asking. Who doesn't like to "get in early" and make a large windfall? We saw plenty of these instances come to light in 2021. Easy examples can be seen with the countless meme stocks in the market this year like GameStop (NYSE: GME) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC) or cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin. A little luck and some foresight positioned traders to play the long game in some sense. While the normal penny stock trade lasts a few days or weeks, the bigger moves for the stocks I mentioned came over roughly a year.
Looking back at June 11th of 2020 compared to June 11th of this year shows what I'm talking about. Then, GME stock was trading around $4 a share, AMC stock hovered around $5, and the Dogecoin price was sitting at $0.0026. In just 12 months, to date, GME is up over 5,600%, AMC shares are trading higher by 760% (much higher if you go off of the 2020 low), and Dogecoin sits 12,700% higher than where it was last June. Does this mean all penny stocks are good investments? No, that isn't generally the case, but plenty have made strong moves over the last year and turned some heads along the way.
[Former] Penny Stocks To Watch Right Now
This begs the question of what comes next? The meme stocks have hit a rough patch this week leaving retail traders seeking direction. Without going into the minutia of all meme stocks, we can see the trend is a bit muted by looking at the VanEck Vectors Social Sentiment ETF (NYSE: BUZZ).
It tracks meme stocks like the ones mentioned earlier. The last 4 days have been mostly sideways with lighter volumes than earlier this quarter. But that doesn't mean there aren't any former penny stocks to watch right now. In fact, today we'll take a look at 4 that have surged over the last 12 months. I'll leave it up to you to decide if they've got more potential left for the next 12.
- GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
- Vaxart Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT)
- Novan Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVN)
- Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN)
GT Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: GTBP)
Shares of GTBP stock have climbed over the last 52 weeks. How much? Since June 11th, 2020, GT Biopharma stock has jumped from around $2.04 to over $17 on June 11, 2021. The surge has been paired with plenty of headlines and advancements. Much of this has centered around the company's treatment pipeline and its TriKE platform.
This "tri-specific natural killer engager" technology is a type of therapy that combines proteins that bridge an immune cell and a tumor cell then drives tumor cell killing power to exponential levels. It has led to new first-in-human phase studies to treat leukemia.
GT Biopharma has found the treatment demonstrates a significant reduction in tumor burden in animal models. It also increased the overall survival in animal models of solid tumor cancers. Fast-forwarding through the last year, GT Biopharma has uplisted from the OTC to the Nasdaq, it has gained interest from 3 Wall Street analyst firms, and reported successful results from its current Phase trial in its lead treatment candidate GTB-3550. This therapy is designed to treat patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). So far, early data has demonstrated meaningful progress.
Recent results from the first 9 patients in the study showed GTB-3550's ability to reduce up to 63.7%bone marrow blast levels and showed no signs of adverse side effects. This is a big aspect of early-stage clinical trials as negative side-effects can be a large hurdle to overcome. In addition to this, GTBP will join the Russell 2000 index at the end of this month.
Vaxart Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT)
Shares of Vaxart haven't had the most consistent uptrend over the last 12 months. In fact, shares have swung violently with sporadic moves taking VXRT stock in and out of the penny stock range countless times. This time last year, shares were trading around $2.25. This week, the former penny stock sits above $9. If you've been trading penny stocks for the last 6 months, you probably remember this company from the first quarter. This is when VXRT stock jumped to highs of $24.90 then fell fast almost immediately after. Speculative momentum had built in the stock leading up to a key readout on its COVID treatment candidate.
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Last month several developments came to light that put the bulls back in control. First, Vaxart's stock began surging after its oral COVID-19 treatment showed potential to trigger immunity against variants. "The strength of T-cell responses against both S and N proteins, which we targeted, leads us to believe that VXA-CoV2-1 offers a promising solution to variants," said Dr. Sean Tucker, chief scientific officer at Vaxart, in a May release. Furthermore, the company began enrolling patients in its Phase 1b norovirus dose-ranging trial in elderly adults.
This trial is the third of four Vaxart norovirus trials being conducted currently or are planned for 2021. This company also expects the launch of its Phase 2 norovirus human challenge study later this year. Besides speculative sentiment stemming from an upcoming industry presentation, a new analyst rating from Piper Sandler has sparked up some excitement this week. The firm started Vaxart with an Overweight rating and an $18 price target.
Novan Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVN)
Novan stock popped big on June 11th thanks to key trial data was released. On Friday morning, the former penny stock reached a high of $18.68, up over 100% from its previous session's close. But to give you some perspective of how far NOVN stock has come in the last year, take a look at the share price on June 11, 2020. That was a time where shares hovered around $4.
Like VXRT, NOVN stock may be familiar if you've been trading for the last few months. The former penny stock surged strongly during the first quarter. This came at a time where the company had made progress with its phase trial pipeline. Since then, however, the NOVN stock price has significantly declined. At the close on June 10th, Novan closed at $9.04, off its high by 65%.
So what happened to trigger such an about-face? The company announced positive topline results from a pivotal phase 3 trial of its molluscum contagiosum treatment, SB206. This is the same treatment that brought so much excitement earlier this year. "The strong safety and statistically significant efficacy results give us confidence as we move forward in preparing a New Drug Application to potentially bring SB206 to market and to patients in need of an effective therapy," said Paula Brown Stafford, President, and CEO of Novan. However, with such a jump in price, it will be interesting to see whether or not long-term holders treat this as a selling opportunity or one to help propel things further.
Ocugen Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN)
Down but not out, Ocugen is one of the biggest names on this list of penny stocks based on 52-week momentum. Last June, the OCGN stock price sat around 26 cents. This week, the stock sits above $6. That equates to a move of over 2,200%. What's more, earlier this year, shares had surged as high as $18.77. Much of the excitement surrounding Ocugen has to do with its COVID treatment candidate, COVAXIN.
This week has been tough because questions have come up regarding comments from the FDA. Ocugen announced that it was recommended to pursue the submission of a biologics license application (BLA) for the treatment and no longer pursue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
"While this will extend our timelines, we are committed to bringing COVAXIN(TM) to the US," said Dr. Shankar Musunuri, Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Co-founder of Ocugen. With some new uncertainty surrounding COVAXIN, the market reacted, resulting in a big drop in share price. Furthermore, analysts went on to cut price targets and downgrade the stock, adding more pressure. Despite this as the case right now, it will be interesting to see how things unfold as Ocugen goes down this BLA path. Nevertheless, OCGN stock has managed to make a significant move over the last 12 months.
Are Penny Stocks Worth It?
Again, not all penny stocks are set to go such a distance. However, that doesn't mean there aren't companies that succeed beyond general expectations. Whatever your goals are, keep in mind that these cheap stocks can be incredibly risky. It's important to keep the stock market's trend in mind and fundamental developments being made (or missed) by the companies themselves. At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide if the risk is worth taking for the potential reward in mind.
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