As we end another week in March, both penny stocks and blue chips remain highly volatile. Overall this month has been quite bullish for many stocks under $5, yet broader markets continue trading sideways. Several factors continue to leave an impact. These include fears of long-term inflation as well as hitting short-term vaccine milestones.
On Thursday, March 18th, the NASDAQ slid down by around 3%, representing the worst day in weeks. But, natural corrections like these are common after periods of bullish interest.
In a speech given by Fed Chair Jerome Powell earlier in the week, Powell worked to curb inflation fears in the next few years. Despite this, he insisted that nothing needs to be done in the short term. Steve Sosnick, a strategist at Interactive Brokers, stated that “Chairman Powell was pretty adamant, as he had been in front of Congress as well, that he was not really inclined to do anything preemptive about inflation, but react to it if inflation becomes a problem and if we’re at full employment.”
While the bond market continues to show fears of this inflationary effect, some investors believe the market will rebound heavily in the next few months. So as businesses begin to reopen, the hopes are that bullish momentum can be the driver in the market moving forward.Robinhood Penny Stocks Take Focus
This brings us to the growing retail population. Considered “Robinhood traders,” simply due to the surge of new retail accounts that opened on the app last year, this group has brought a new layer to the market as we know it. Millions of new accounts were opened during the pandemic showing that the “dumb money” might not be so “dumb” after all.
In fact, the huge GameStop short-squeeze that also triggered many other stocks to breakout came initially from these Robinhood traders. Understanding this dynamic, we’ll look at some of the trending penny stocks on Robinhood to watch right now. Since these are typically NYSE & Nasdaq listed companies, the liquidity is usually higher than that of OTC penny stocks. Furthermore, many more funds can buy shares of main listed names.
- Artelo Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: ARTL)
- Centennial Resource Development Inc. (NASDAQ: CDEV)
- Marker Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MRKR)
- Akebia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKBA)
Artelo Biosciences is a California-based biopharmaceutical company. It develops and produces a large range of proprietary therapeutics. This includes those that utilize the endocannabinoid system in the body. With these, it can treat multiple ailments, including anorexia, cancer, PTSD, and pain management, to name a few. Shares of ARTL stock were up on Friday after the company announced its acceptance into the Alderley Park Oncology Development Program. This program is focused on the development of the FABP5 inhibitor biomarker.
Dr. Andy Yates, CEO of Artelo, states that “it has recently been shown that FABP5 was detectable in saliva and breath condensate for certain tumor types, including multiple myeloma and lung cancer, suggesting that these readily available and non-invasive biofluids could be used to measure FABP5 expression as a predictive biomarker of both disease prognosis and also response to FABP5 inhibition in cancers with high unmet need.”
With this acceptance, the company could receive up to $8 million in U.S. Government financial support. Also, it will allow it to collaborate with leading UK research institutes. This is exciting news and could continue to become more exciting as time goes on. With its other work on CBD Cocrystals and its sizable pipeline, Artelo continues to offer an interesting angle on the cannabis industry.Centennial Resource Development Inc.
After announcing a $150 million senior note offering, shares of CDEV have since been climbing. For some context, Centennial Resource Development is an independent natural gas and oil company working on developing its large resource bank. It is focused on several reserves located in the Permian Basin, an extremely energy-rich area in the U.S.
With exposure to the U.S. energy market, CDEV has seen a correlative bullish interest in the past few months. The analyst firm Piper Sandler gave a neutral rating to CDEV but upgraded its price target to $5.50 per share. While investors consider it a smaller energy company with a market cap north of $1.5 billion, the company is seeing a boost in value due to the declining number of Covid cases.
With fewer cases reported, more people are traveling in cars, planes and other methods of transport. You’ve also got to consider the uptick in manufacturing that requires fuel sources as well. This means that the energy demand could continue to climb into the near future.
In its most recent fourth quarter, CDEV reported revenue of around $148 million. This is basically the same as the quarter prior. What’s more interesting is that the average realized oil price it received during the quarter jumped from $36.95 in Q3 to $40.36 in this fourth quarter. This is a solid gain and is something for investors to take note of. With a $40 million non-cash impairment expense during the quarter, CDEV reported a GAAP net loss of $89 million.Marker Therapeutics Inc.
Another biotech penny stock on the radar is Marker Therapeutics Inc. Marker, a clinical-stage immune-oncology company, specializes in T-cell-based immunotherapies. These compounds have implications for the treatment of hematological malignancies as well as solid tumors.
Earlier in the week, Marker announced a public offering of over 32.2 million shares of common stock. The company expects to bring in roughly $56.5 million from this offering. Only a week or so earlier, MRKR reported its fiscal year 2020 operating and financial results. To understand Marker better, let’s take a look at the report.
Peter Hoang, CEO of Marker Therapeutics, stated that “we are proud of our Company’s continued progress, which has positioned us for a busy and productive year ahead. Recently, we dosed the first patient in the safety lead-in portion of our Phase 2 trial in post-transplant acute myeloid leukemia or AML.”
Financially, Marker ended the quarter with cash on hand of $21.4 million. While it did report a net loss of $28.7 million, this is quite common amongst biotech firms. The dosing of its first patient in the Phase 2 trial of MT-401 signals a large step forward for the company. It states that it could improve the survival rate of a potentially broad range of cancers. It plans to enroll a total of 160 patients across around 20 cancer centers in the U.S. While this will take some time to complete, in the meantime, this is definitely exciting news.Akebia Therapeutics Inc.
As far as biotech penny stocks go, Akebia Therapeutics remains quite popular. It is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with a heavy focus on the treatment of kidney disease. Only a few weeks ago, the company announced its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. It also announced a $60 million non-dilutive transaction to monetize its royalties with the vadadustat compound.
CEO John Butler stated that “2020 was a year of focused execution for Akebia as we advanced vadadustat, our investigational oral hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor or HIF-PHI, and executed on our commercial priorities. Importantly, we achieved this while continuing to provide patients with access to our therapies and keeping with our goal of maintaining a strong balance sheet.”
Financially, Akebia brought in $56.7 million in revenue for the fourth quarter alone. For the full year, this number jumps to $295 million. This is lower than the previous year, but the company attributes this to lower collaboration revenue while it focuses on the development of vadadustat. During the fourth quarter, Akebia recorded a net loss of $87 million.
This is sizably less than the $94.5 million in Q4 2019. Despite this large loss, Akebia still managed to end the year with more than $268 million in cash on hand. While the pandemic has affected Akebia, it seems as though the company is still growing despite this. With its advantage cash position, is AKBA a penny stock to watch?