Vical (VICL) Stock Jumps on Positive Coverage Initiation

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Vical (VICL) shares are gaining, up 15.9% to $1.02, on heavy volume trading Tuesday after the biopharmaceutical company had coverage initiated with a "buy" rating by analysts at Roth Capital today.

The San Diego-based company also received a $4.65 price target which represents a potential upside of 355% from the stock's current price.

The firm is very optimistic about the treatments currently being developed in the company's pipeline, which the firm says presents an opportunity for rapid growth.

Vical has traded 7.5 million shares so far today, well ahead of its average 200,000 share per day volume.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates VICAL INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate VICAL INC (VICL) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Biotechnology industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 111.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$2.19 million to -$4.63 million.
  • The share price of VICAL INC has not done very well: it is down 21.32% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Biotechnology industry and the overall market, VICAL INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 51.59% to -$2.63 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 51.59%, VICAL INC is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 153.45%.
  • VICAL INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VICAL INC continued to lose money by earning -$0.19 versus -$0.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$0.17 versus -$0.19).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: VICL Ratings Report

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