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Inovio Falls Sharply as Stifel Cuts Price Target

Stifel cut its target after the company reported a much wider second quarter loss than analysts expected.

Shares of drug maker Inovio Pharmaceuticals  (INO) - Get Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report fell sharply in premarket trading on  Tuesday after analysts at Stifel cut the company's price target by a third following its wider-than-expected second quarter loss. 

Analysts at the firm cut Inovio's price target to $16 per share from $24 per share after the company reported a net loss of 83 cents per share vs. analysts' consensus estimates of a loss of 17 cents per share. 

Shares were down 11.3% to 16.85 in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

Stifel is not convinced the company's coronavirus treatment candidate will add any value to the company's bottom line after it announced that it expanded a 40-patient early-stage clinical trial by another 80 patients. 

Stifel maintained its hold rating on the shares. 

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"Our hesitancy to attribute any INO-4800-related value in our model persists and our previously reduced discount rate (9%) reflected improved perception re: the likelihood of procuring third party funding," Stifel analyst Stephen Willey wrote. 

The price target represents a potential 16% downside from Inovio's previous closing price on Monday of $18.99.

In the second quarter, Inovio saw revenue rise to about $267,000 from $136,000 a year ago, still falling well short of Wall Street's expectations of revenue of $2.6 million. 

Inovio said it received $71 million from the Department of Defense to support large-scale manufacturing of its Cellectra device that administers the vaccine. 

Willey says that the company's latest release leaves Stifel "with more questions than answers on numerous fronts...We believe these lingering questions, coupled with an acceleration of the competitive development landscape (and difficult-to-beat immunogenicity hurdles), forces us to revisit that assumption (+250bps)."