3 Hot Analyst Reads For Thursday, August 16th

A synopsis of recent analyst activity that could buoy these small cap biotech stocks in trading today

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Biotech will hope to bounce back along with the overall market after a tough slog throughout trading Wednesday. Futures are up in pre-market on news that the U.S. and China will resume trade talks this month after formal discussions broke down last month which lead to more tariffs on both sides.

Here are three small biotech/healthcare stocks that could get a lift from analyst commentary this morning.

Testing concern Natera (NTRA) gets its price target lifted to $29 from $25 previously over at Canaccord Genuity this morning after recent Q2 results showed testing volumes beating expectations. Canaccord's analyst also provided the following commentary on the upward price revision 'The beat was driven by continued execution of its industry-leading Panorama NIPT test, but it is also signing impressive deals and expanding the breadth of its cancer offerings'

H.C. Wainwright is very bullish on ESSA Pharma (EPIX) this morning. Their reiterate their Buy rating with $14 price target with the following color

“Valuation and risks to price target achievement. We reiterate our Buy rating and $14 price target. Our price target is based on our clinical net present value (NPV) model, which allows us to flex multiple assumptions affecting a drug’s potential commercial profile. Factors that could impede reaching our price target include failed or inconclusive clinical trials or inability of the company to secure adequate funding to progress its drugs through the development pathway. ESSA Pharma, Inc.”

As you can see, Wainwright's price target is multiples above where the stock of this microcap concern is trading. It should also be noted that the company only has a ~$20 million market cap.

Finally, Nuvasive (NUVA), which has seen a lot of positive analyst action in recent weeks, has its price target raised four bucks a share to $72 before the bell at BTIG. Here is a synopsis of that upward revision

'We maintain our Buy rating on NUVA following investor meetings with the management. The tone of the discussions was "decidedly more upbeat" after Q2 results and the company's FY18 guidance cut. The analyst states that he also "underappreciated" the potential for NuVasive's recent agreement with Siemens, as it expands the company's opportunity and provides better commercial support and expects investor interest in NuVasive shares to build heading into the full launch of the company's new Pulse system'

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