3 Speculative Stocks Cathie Wood Recently Bought

Cathie Wood owns and operates Ark Investment Services LLC, which is the world’s largest actively traded ETF. She has made her name by betting on companies that seem highly risky and speculative and are generally viewed in a negative light by other institutional and retail investors. Wood’s most profitable bet so far has been her long position in…

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) since 2019, covering a period when the stock was heavily shorted.

Wood believes the disruptive electric vehicle (EV) industry has plenty of remaining upside because many countries have only just begun phasing out fossil fuel-powered vehicles in favor of EVs. Two of Wood’s  recent investments in this space are in Niu Technologies (NIU – Get Rating) and Workhorse Group Inc. (WKHS – Get Rating).

Wood also has substantial exposure to the biotechnology industry based on her optimism about  the prospects of gene sequencing, which has the potential to revolutionize the global healthcare industry. With the biotech industry’s research and innovation increasingly demonstrating the sector’s ability to cure critical ailments such as cancer, Wood launched Ark Genomic Revolution ETF (ARKG) to invest in budding companies, such as  Beam Therapeutics, Inc. (BEAM – Get Rating).

Beam Therapeutics, Inc. (BEAM – Get Rating)

BEAM is a biotech company that develops gene medicines for the treatment of a variety of critical diseases, such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia and cancer. The company’s substantial progress in its drug pipeline development caught Wood’s eye and she has been investing heavily in the stock since October 5, 2020 and held approximately 5.75 million shares as of April 27. As one of holding in  ARKG and ARKK, BEAM has a combined 0.92% weighing  across all funds, translating to a combined weighting rank of #31. Ark Investment Management has a 9.33% stake in the company.

BEAM was one of the first biotech companies to capitalize on the COVID-19  crisis. The company went public on February 11, 2020. It  initially planned to offer 6.30 million shares priced between $15 – $17, but increased the offering by 48%, pricing each share at $17. The IPO raised $180 million. BEAM’s shares gained 87.1% within two days of their  market debut. However, in the wake of rising coronavirus cases and a country wide lockdown, the stock plummeted 59.1% to hit its all-time low of $14.80 in March 2020. The stock has gained 393.4% over the past year.

On February 23, BEAM acquired Guide Therapeutics, Inc., which manufactures non-viral gene drug delivery vehicles, for a $120 million upfront payment. The acquisition should allow BEAM’s drugs to be administered to more  patients nationwide.

In January, the company raised $260 million through a direct placement offering of 2.80 million shares. The financing improved BEAM’s cash balance substantially. The proceeds are expected to fund  research and development.

BEAM’s licensing revenues increased 33.3% year-over-year to $24,000 in the year ended December 31, 2020. Its cash and cash equivalents balance improved 226.3% from their year-ago value to $299.67 million, while its total assets rose 189.4% from the same period last year to $451.68 million.

However, the company has not yet launched any of its products commercially.  Given its extensive expenses to develop its pipeline, BEAM has incurred substantial losses from its operations. Its net loss came in at $194.59 million, up 148.4% year-over-year. However, its loss per share declined 235.3% from the same period last year to $4.19.

A  $2.15 consensus revenue estimate for its fiscal year 2021 indicates an 8,858.3% improvement year-over-year. The company’s EPS is expected to rise 30.1% in the most recent quarter, ended March 2021, and 29.4% in the current year. However, it should be noted that the company’s EPS is expected to remain negative until at least 2022.

Of the six Wall Street analysts that have rated BEAM, four rated it Buy while two rated it Hold. The stock has a 12-month $112.40 median price target, indicating a 37.8% potential upside.

Niu Technologies (NIU – Get Rating)

Chinese EV manufacturer NIU specializes in electric scooters, commuter electric motorcycles and related accessories. Wood holds around 2.05 million shares of NIU in her  Ark Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF, which equates to a 0.15% weighting. She has been investing in the company  since August last year, resulting in a 2.68% stake in the company. NIU has a weighted rank of #113 across all Ark ETFs. NIU’s shares have declined 347.3% over the past year, and 35.2% year-to-date.

The company’s gradual expansion to the United States and European markets have made the stock an ideal match for Wood’s  Ark. NIU launched its first ever…

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