CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP -1.88%) is a stock with nearly 40% upside, according to a new analysis. Prognosticator Silvan Turkcan of JMP Group's JMP Securities has initiated coverage of the company with a market outperform (buy) recommendation at a $160 per share price target.

Gene editing, which is the core of CRISPR's business, is still a nascent industry with a great deal of potential. Turkcan described CRISPR's offerings as "powerful new bioengineering tools" that have a potentially very long reach. In addition to their obvious use in the medical field, they can also be used to concoct products such as biofuels and industrial materials.

3 strands of DNA.

Image source: Getty Images.

JMP Securities is not the only financial services company getting on board the CRISPR train in recent days. On Monday, Barclays analyst Gena Wang dramatically increased her price target on the stock to $140 per share from the previous $113, while keeping an overweight (again, buy) recommendation. Wang was particularly impressed by the company's progress in several of its clinical programs, as indicated in its fourth-quarter earnings release published last month.

Other companies remain optimistic about CRISPR's prospects. In the wake of those earnings, Oppenheimer raised its price target by 13% to $187 per share; almost needless to say, it has the equivalent of a buy recommendation on the stock. Goldman Sachs actually lowered its price target slightly (to $189 from $193) and maintained its neutral rating, but the bank's latest level is now 63% above the current share price. 

Despite this recent positive momentum, CRISPR wasn't a hit in midafternoon trading on Thursday. Its shares were down by 2.6%, compared to only a 1.1% decline for the S&P 500 index.