December 21st, 2022 | 08:48 CET
BASF, BioNTech, Cardiol Therapeutics: Stocks for 2023?
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Cardiol Therapeutics: Analysts optimistic about the start of Phase 2
Analysts at Leede Jones Gable Inc. have renewed their buy recommendation on Cardiol Therapeutics' stock. They said the Canadian biotech company has now started the Phase 2 pilot study following strong preclinical data for its lead product CardiolRx. Analysts expect new data during the coming year. Cardiol Therapeutics is thus on track, the analysts said. Their price target for the share, which is also traded on the NASDAQ and in Germany (e.g. Tradegaze), is CAD 4.50. Currently, the stock is trading at CAD 0.80, which is on par with its cash position.
Cardiol Therapeutics specializes in cardiovascular diseases. Its lead product, CardiolRx, is designed to treat pericarditis. Preclinical data already showed a convincing anti-inflammatory effect. The Phase 2 study with 25 patients is being conducted at two renowned cardiology centers in the USA. "The initiation of this meaningful study at the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic is an important milestone in our efforts to improve treatment options for patients with recurrent pericarditis," said Cardiol CEO David Elsley. "Recurrent pericarditis is an inflammatory heart disease with symptoms such as stabbing chest pain, shortness of breath and fatigue that limit physical activity and quality of life for those affected. Data from patients enrolled in the study at our collaborating research centers will provide further information to support the use of CardiolRx as a novel therapy for this debilitating and often undertreated condition. We are excited about the start of the study and share the enthusiasm with which the study investigators are exploring the clinical potential of CardiolRx in pericarditis."
BioNTech: Technical setback, but full throttle operationally
BioNTech can enter 2023 with a lot of confidence. Thanks to billions in revenue from the COVID-19 vaccine, the Company has a substantial product pipeline and can move full throttle ahead. At the same time, the mRNA specialists from Mainz are preparing for mass production of their vaccines. A research institute is being built in Melbourne, and in Singapore BioNTech has taken over the one production facility from Novartis. The Company is also expanding in Taiwan. There, trials of BNT113 are to be conducted in patients with head and neck tumors. In this effort, BioNTech is collaborating with the YongLin Healthcare Foundation and Retain Biotech. "Taiwan is one of the most renowned biomedical hubs in the Asia-Pacific region due to its state-of-the-art healthcare system, medical research capacity, and collaborative approach to working with leading companies and institutions around the world. Our Asia-Pacific strategy is built on strong partnerships and a shared vision," said Sean Marett, Chief Business and Chief Commercial Officer of BioNTech. "We look forward to working with Retain in our efforts to facilitate the clinical development of novel immunotherapies in oncology. Our goal is to accelerate the development of innovative therapies to combat cancers that are prevalent in the region."
From a chart perspective, the picture has darkened somewhat in recent days. The breakout from the sideways trend of 2022 was not successful. In a weak overall market, the Mainz share fell by around 10% in a few days. But if analysts have their way, 2023 should be worthwhile for shareholders. After analysts had been conspicuously quiet for a few weeks, there were two positive comments at once. Bank of America, for example, upgraded BioNTech's stock from "Neutral" to "Buy." The analysts' price target for the stock is USD 239. Bryan Garnier & Co experts also believe that BioNTech's share has upside potential. Their price target is USD 250.
BASF shares at EUR 38 or EUR 72?
2022 was not a good year for the BASF share. Meanwhile, the share price had almost halved. That is because the DAX-listed company is more dependent on gas than any other company in Germany. It would therefore be massively affected by a gas freeze. However, the operating performance has been stable, and the dividend yield is now around 7%. Nevertheless, investors should not be blinded by this. UBS has issued a "Sell" recommendation for BASF shares. The price target is EUR 38. The stock is currently trading at EUR 45. BASF - like the European chemical industry - will probably come through the winter months relatively well. The reasons for this are the high gas reserves, government subsidy packages and, in some cases, long-term energy contracts. For 2023, however, the analysts are skeptical about BASF. They rather bet on companies from the industrial gases segment in the sector. Bernstein Research is more optimistic. The US analysts trust BASF's share price to reach EUR 72 and recommend it with an "outperform" rating. In particular, BASF's agricultural business is full of opportunities. Demand from agricultural companies in the corn and soybean sectors looks fundamentally sound.
But BASF is also active in future markets. Take electromobility, for example; BASF is conducting research on innovative cathode materials that will further advance electromobility. Innovations from BASF for high-performance lithium-ion batteries are expected to help double the real-world range of a mid-size car from 300 to 600 km by 2025 and significantly reduce the charging time of electric cars. There is news along the way: for example, BASF's majority-owned Ludwigshafen-based TODA Battery Materials (BTBM) has delivered the first batch of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) cathode materials to Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (PPES). The customer is a joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic. "This is a great joint success between BASF and PPES teams in Japan and an important step for further cooperation between the two companies," said Michael Baier, SVP of BASF Battery Materials. "It fits well with BASF's strategy to co-develop cathode materials with leading battery manufacturers in their respective home markets and expand the business for more growth globally." In addition to cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, BASF is working on components for next-generation batteries, such as solid-state batteries.
The stock market year 2023 promises to be exciting. This also applies to individual stocks such as BASF, BioNTech and Cardiol Therapeutics. The latter is currently trading at cash while making clear progress with its main product. At BioNTech, a brisk newsflow from cancer research is expected in the coming year. If there is a surprising easing of tensions in the war between Russia and Ukraine, BASF is quite the bargain.
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