Shares of Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (INO) rallied 7.5% in premarket trading Friday, to extend their recent rocket ride to a 20-year high, even as biotechnology company was downgraded at Stifel Nicolaus on valuation concerns. The stock has run up 119% amid a four-day win streak to close Thursday at the highest price since September 2000, and has soared more than 9-fold (up 847%) year to date--the S&P 500 has lost 4.6% this year--as the company has a COVID-19 vaccine candidate ( ) in Phase 1 trials. Stifel analyst Stephan Willey raised his stock price target to $24 from $19, but cut his rating to hold after being at buy for at least the past 3 1/2 years, saying the risk-versus-reward investment scenario "seems less palatable" at current prices. " While acknowledging peer COVID-19 vaccine company valuations would suggest we're potentially leaving significant upside on the table should promising immunogenicity data (i.e. robust neutralizing antibody responses) and a large government-written check subsequently materialize, we also believe any potential downside risk in the absence of the aforementioned events occurring is equally-significant," Willey wrote in a note to clients.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 26, 2020 12:21 ET (16:21 GMT)
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