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Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Carrols Restaurant, Moderna, Blueprint Medicines and Halozyme Therapeutics highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – January 11, 2021 – Zacks Equity Research Shares of Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc. (IEA - Free Report) as the Bull of the Day, Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (TAST - Free Report) as the Bear of the Day. In addition, Zacks Equity Research provides analysis on Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) , Blueprint Medicines Corporation (BPMC - Free Report) and Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (HALO - Free Report) .

Here is a synopsis of all five stocks:

Bull of the Day:

The stock market is showing its strength right now. The additional stimulus checks sent out by the government are certainly helping. It’s a shot in the arm to an economy going through a transition. At the same time this paradigm shift has taken place, there is a transition on Capitol Hill. A new Presidential administration along with a shift in Congressional power could mean new economic policies. While some dread what may come down in the pipe in terms of tax reforms, others are excited at the prospects of new opportunities.

Mark me down for the one excited about new opportunities. Today’s Bull of the Day is a company in a very opportunistic industry. It’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives.

Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives, Inc., through various subsidiaries, operates as a diversified infrastructure construction company in the United States. The company engages in providing engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the renewable energy, traditional power, and civil infrastructure industries. It operates in two segments, the Renewables and the Specialty Civil.

The reason for the favorable Zacks Rank is a huge jump in earnings estimates. Current year Zacks Consensus Estimates call for a 19-cent loss. But next year, that number is estimated to jump all the way up to 39 cents EPS. That’s up from a 32-cent Zacks Consensus Estimate just sixty days ago. That bullish move upwards in consensus is a big part of our Zacks Rank calculation and is the main reason why this stock is currently a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

The last couple quarters have brought earnings surprises for the company. Last quarter’s EPS Surprise came in at 32 cents, far surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 16 cents EPS. The quarter before that, the company reported a surprise profit, with EPS coming in at 9 cents versus bearish expectations calling for a 4-cent loss.

Bear of the Day:

Since this paradigm shift occurred, it’s been pretty easy to beat up restaurant stocks. Closing, partial opening, restrictions, all of this COVID-related action has really hurt the industry and the folks working in it. You probably don’t need me to point this out for you. Nonetheless, I’ve got to point out a Bear of the Day, not because I am personally very bearish on the stock, but because I want to highlight what has been happening as far as earnings estimates are concerned.

Today’s Bear of the Day is Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) Carrols Restaurant Group. Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a restaurant company in the United States. The company operates as a Burger King franchisee. As of December 29, 2019, it had, as franchisee, 1,036 Burger King restaurants located in 23 Northeastern, Midwestern, and Southeastern states; and 65 Popeyes restaurants in seven Southeastern states. The company was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Syracuse, New York.

The Retail – Restaurants industry is in the Bottom 20% of our Zacks Industry Rank. You would think that the pandemic would help restaurants in the Fast Food industry. As far as earnings go, this has simply not been the case. Estimates continue to come down. Over the last week alone, analysts all over Wall Street have been cutting their earnings estimates. The bearish sentiment has dropped our current year Zacks Consensus Estimates from an 8-cent profit to an 8-cent loss. Next year’s number has shifted lower as well, going from a 14 cents EPS to 6 cents.

Additional content:

3 Biotech Stocks Worth Adding to Your Portfolio in 2021

The biotech sector had a fairly good run in 2020 and continues to grab the spotlight, as leading biotech companies strive hard to come out with effective treatments and vaccines to combat and prevent the coronavirus contagion.

The development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments was in the forefront throughout 2020 and gained further steam, of late, as the second wave of the pandemic grapples the world, resulting in more and more fatalities with each passing day. Consequently, companies developing vaccines grabbed investors’ attention in 2020 and the trend continues in 2021.

While the coronavirus treatments will take centerstage in 2021 as well, other regulatory and pipeline developments will also be in focus. Quite a few new drug approvals (Ayvakit, Tazverik, Zeposia, Tukysa, Pemazyre and Oxlumo) and label expansions of prominent drugs helped maintain the momentum for some biotech companies in 2020 and the pace should pick up further in 2021 as the regulatory environment normalizes.

Meanwhile, the pace of mergers & acquisitions had somewhat slowed down in 2020 compared to previous years but is gradually picking up now. Mergers and buyouts should be in the spotlight in 2021 as pharma/biotech bigwigs eye lucrative acquisitions to bolster their portfolio/pipeline and combat rivalry woes. While oncology and immuno-oncology are the key areas of focus, treatments for rare diseases and gene-editing companies also promise potential, making them lucrative areas of investment.

However, given the uncertain economic environment, the inherent peril of the sector gets intensified. In such a scenario, choosing a biotech stock for investment can be tricky. Particularly, smaller biotechs are more hazardous as their product pipelines are several years away from commercialization.

Here we zero in on three biotech companies, which have outperformed the sector in 2020 and still hold enough room for an upside, backed by a broad and strong product portfolio.

3 Biotech Stocks to Bet on in 2021

The year 2020 was an eventful one for biotechnology company, Moderna, pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines. The company received a significant boost on Dec 18, 2020, as the FDA authorized the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-based vaccine) in individuals 18 years of age or older. The European Commission has also granted a conditional marketing authorization (CMA) to the same. Demand is expected to be strong throughout, given the urgent need.

Additionally, the company has a deep pipeline. It is also developing several promising mRNA-based pipeline candidates, targeting a wide range of indications. Moderna’s partnerships with pharma bigwigs also bode well, providing it with funds through upfront and milestone payments and enabling it to share research and marketing costs.

Moderna currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Shares of the company have skyrocketed 540.1% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 5.4%.

Blueprint Medicines is a precision therapy company focused on genomically defined cancers, rare diseases and cancer immunotherapy. The company had a good run in 2020 on the back of solid pipeline progress and the momentum is expected to continue this year as well.

In January 2020, lead drug Ayvakit (avapritinib), a kinase inhibitor, was approved by the FDA for the treatment of adults with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) harboring a PDGFRA exon 18 mutation, including PDGFRA D842V mutations. The recent approval of second precision medicine, Gavreto (pralsetinib), for the treatment of patients with advanced/metastatic rearranged transfection (“RET”)-mutant medullary thyroid cancer should fuel sales.

In September 2020, Gavreto was also approved for the treatment of adults with metastatic RET fusion-positive non-small-cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”). The approval of these medicines positions Blueprint for strong growth. Blueprint currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Shares of the company have increased 33% in the past year.

Halozyme Therapeutics is a biopharma technology platform company that provides innovative and disruptive solutions for improving patient experience and outcomes. Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug delivery technology has been used in the development of subcutaneous formulations of various approved drugs in partnerships with J&J, Roche and Takeda.

This, in turn, generates a steady stream of revenues through royalties on sales of marketed drugs, milestone payments for pipeline candidates and annual license fees. The restructuring initiatives undertaken by the company also boost the bottom line and should generate returns.

Halozyme currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Shares of the company have surged 143.1% in the past year.

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