Business News & Opinions

This S&P 500 Stock Is Surprisingly the Best Performer This Year

Regeneron, a pharmaceutical stock, is outperforming other S&P 500 companies this year. The stock is up 51% year-to-date and analysts think there's more growth ahead.

  • One pharmaceutical company is outperforming all S&P 500 stocks.
  • Regeneron has made a massive surge over the last three months as the company continues to develop a possible COVID-19 treatment.
  • Equity analysts believe that the stock has more upside potential.

While popular COVID-19 bets such as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) have taken center stage, one pharmaceutical company has quietly risen above all S&P 500 stocks: Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN).

After Tuesday’s close, Regeneron is up around 51% year-to-date, overtaking NFLX’s 31.7% surge and AMZN’s 24.3% growth. Equity analysts see more upside potential for the stock.

Regeneron Fast Tracks a Strong Candidate for a COVID-19 Cure

REGN has been in a strong uptrend after recording a 2020 low of $328.13 at the end of January. After Tuesday’s close of $574.37, the stock has surged by more than 75%.

The stock’s stellar performance can be attributed to the development of the antibody cocktail against COVID-19 that could be available later this year. The treatment is scheduled to be tested on humans for the first time next month.

In a statement, Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive of Regeneron said:

Our novel antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, which is specifically-designed for both prevention and treatment, is expected to begin human studies in June and we are working in parallel to have large-scale quantities available by late summer.

The ability to mass-produce the drug is one of the reasons why investors are optimistic. The company said that it looks to produce 200,000 prophylactic doses each month. Already infected patients may need a more potent cocktail. The company said it could deliver 20,000 strong doses per month.

The United States remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with over 1.2 million cases. An approved prophylactic and treatment against COVID-19 can be a game-changer for Regeneron.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. continue to climb. | Source: Worldometers

Equity Analysts Are Upgrading Price Targets for REGN

Although Regeneron has been on fire as of late, equity strategists believe the stock has more room to run. SVB Leerink, an investment bank specialized in the healthcare sector, upgraded its price target for REGN from $604 to $622. Also, Credit Suisse maintains its outperform rating on REGN and lifts its price target to $605.

One investment bank is bullish on REGN. | Source: Twitter

But not all analysts are convinced that this top S&P 500 company can keep climbing. Citi downgraded the stock from buy to neutral. The stock has already tapped the company’s price target of $575.

Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from The writer does not own Regeneron shares.

Last modified: September 26, 2020 6:49 PM

Kiril Nikolaev

Kiril is a CFA Charterholder and financial professional with 6+ years of experience in financial writing, analysis, and product ownership. He has a bachelor's degree with a specialty in finance and lives in Canada. Kiril’s current focus is on finance and cryptocurrencies. He owns Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins but does not engage in short-term or day-trading. Get in touch with Kiril: Email, Follow on Twitter