Investing in the middle of a global pandemic is tricky, to be sure. Scores of companies are going to post dreadful first-, second-, and perhaps even third-quarter earnings this year. The market, in turn, has been adjusting to this harsh reality by shrinking valuations almost across the board. But there are still some amazing opportunities to be had in this chaotic environment.
Maker of disposable protective apparel Alpha Pro Tech (NYSEMKT:APT) and Irish biopharma Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN) are two stocks that could generate life-changing gains for risk-tolerant investors. Matter of fact, I have both of these ultra-high-growth healthcare stocks at the top of my buy list right now. Here's why.
Alpha Pro Tech: Demand for protective equipment is surging
Alpha Pro Tech is already up by a jaw-dropping 401% in 2020. The company's shares have caught fire this year in response to the surging demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), such as the N95 face mask.
Earlier this year, Alpha Pro Tech's management announced that its sales of PPE were soaring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing investors to pile into this name with reckless abandon. The crazy part, though, is that this elevated demand for PPE in the U.S. should only rise from here.
After all, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. won't hit a peak for at least another two to three weeks -- and that's the optimistic outlook, unfortunately. Some models have the virus waxing and waning for another 12 to 18 months until a vaccine is available. Making matters worse, the U.S. government's emergency stockpile of PPE is dangerously close to running out.
Alpha Pro Tech, in turn, should see an enormous jump in PPE sales, perhaps for the remainder of the year. So despite the company's ginormous move during the first three months of 2020, Alpha Pro Tech's stock should continue to post monstrous gains in the weeks and months ahead.
Amarin: Hope springs eternal
Amarin is a small-cap biopharma that sells a prescription omega-3 treatment known as Vascepa. After the better part of a decade, hundreds of millions sunk into a large cardiovascular outcomes trial, and a hotly contested regulatory review, the FDA officially expanded the drug's label to include patients who are on statins but are still at risk of cardiovascular disease. This high-value indication was expected to drive the drug's sales up exponentially in the years ahead. Then disaster struck.
Earlier this week, Vascepa's U.S. patents were deemed "obvious" by the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, thereby opening the door for generic competitors. Amarin's share price promptly nosedived. On Tuesday, Amarin's stock lost a whopping 70% of its value in the wake of this news.
On Wednesday, Amarin's shares regained some of this lost ground (up 24.5%) following a positive take by a patent lawyer, who stated that an appeal might not be dead on arrival after all. An appeal of this adverse patent ruling is likely to take around a year, according to various legal experts covering the case.
The bigger picture, though, is that Amarin's shares appear to have grossly overreacted to this patent news. Vascepa should generate no less than $500 million in annual sales, even with generics in the U.S. market. What's more, there's a very good chance that it will generate well over $1 billion per year in global sales within the next two years, regardless of this patent dispute. So as the market slowly shakes off the fear of this patent ruling, Amarin's shares should come roaring back.
Personally, I believe fair value for Amarin's stock -- in a worst-case scenario -- should be at least $8 per share, representing an upside potential of around 60% from current levels. However, I also wouldn't be shocked if this beaten-down stock slowly moved back to the $10-to-$12 range. Vascepa won't face generic competition any time soon, and at least some individuals in the legal community think that a reversal upon appeal is a distinct possibility. Those two facts bode well for Amarin's near-term prospects.