Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN): The Best-Of-Breed For Investing?

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    Ecor1 Capital LLC recently announced the acquisition of new stake in Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN). This fresh investment now brings its stake to 14.19% valued currently at $62.88 million. In addition, Great Point Partners LLC raised its holdings by 23.1 million to 23.1 million shares. And BlackRock Fund Advisors has lifted its position by 0.15% or 20953.0 shares – to 14.4 million shares.

    With over 2.62 million Geron Corporation (GERN) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $1.59 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $4.16 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -13.11% and its price on 07/31/20 lost nearly -5.36%. Currently, there are 200.22M common shares owned by the public and among those 183.99M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 4 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for GERN have a consensus price objective of $3.50. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $4.00 and a low of $3.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the Geron Corporation stock is 1.80 for the next 12 months. But an upside of 60.25% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $3.50.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 5 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 5 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 16,985 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 0 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 0 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in Geron Corporation are Fidelity Select Port. – Biotechno, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and Vanguard Extended Market Index Fu. Fidelity Select Port. – Biotechno owns 14.84 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $32.36 million. The company bought an additional 1.44 million shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 7.30% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Extended Market Index Fu bought 1.25 million shares to bring its total holdings to over 4.28 million shares at a value of $9.33 million. Vanguard Extended Market Index Fu now owns shares totaling to 2.11% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) opened at $1.67, down -$0.01 from a prior closing price of $1.68. However, the script later closed the day at $1.59, down -5.36%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -13.11% and 34.75% over the past three months. GERN shares are trading 16.91% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 38.26% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $0.75 and touched a high of $2.40 over the same period. Currently, 2.62 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 3.88 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -19.99%, -14.87%, and 9.68% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) shares accounts for 38.60% of the company’s 200.22M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 31.70%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 4.92% and 25.47% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $509.67M and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.76. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$0.39. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.76% over the week and 5.75% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that Geron Corporation (GERN) will achieve an EPS of -$0.06 for the current quarter, -$0.06 for the next quarter and -$0.32 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is -$0.07 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of -$0.05. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was -$0.08 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -135.50%, and -23.10% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 5.00% over the next five years, compared to -9.20% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 4 brokerage firm advisors rate Geron Corporation (GERN) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.80. Specifically, 4 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 0 of the 4 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the GERN, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. B. Riley FBR stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on November 19, 2019, with the firm’s price target at $4. H.C. Wainwright coverage for the Geron Corporation (GERN) stock in a research note released on September 03, 2019 offered a Buy rating with a price target of $4. Cantor Fitzgerald was of a view on August 15, 2019 that the stock is Overweight, while Needham gave the stock Buy rating on April 09, 2019, issuing a price target of $3. B. Riley FBR on their part issued Buy rating on January 31, 2019.

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