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2 Supercharged Stocks Near 52-Week Highs Despite the Market Pullback

By Keith Speights – Oct 13, 2021 at 5:55AM

Key Points

  • Alkermes is enjoying strong momentum with its current products and its pipeline.
  • Bank of America is thriving with the economic recovery and is poised to benefit from rising interest rates.
  • One of these stocks appears to be a smart pick to buy near the high.

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Are they stocks to buy near the highs?

You've probably heard that a rising tide lifts all boats. The opposite of this saying is that an ebbing tide lowers all boats. Both are usually applicable to the stock market. When the overall market rises, most stocks go up. When the overall market falls, most stocks go down.

But there are usually some exceptions. That's been the case with the stock market declines in recent weeks. Here are two supercharged stocks near 52-week highs despite the market pullback.

Two people looking at charts on a screen.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Alkermes

Alkermes (ALKS -2.22%) shares have skyrocketed more than 55% year to date. The biotech stock is only a little below its 52-week high even with the recent market volatility. How has Alkermes been able to defy gravity?

To some extent, the company continues to ride the momentum from its strong second-quarter results announced in late July. Alkermes reported revenue of nearly $304 million, up close to 23% year over year. It also posted an adjusted profit in the second quarter of $49.2 million, more than 5.5 times higher than the result in the prior-year period.

This growth stemmed from strong sales across the board for Alkermes' two products on the market: antipsychotic drug Aristada and alcohol- and drug-abuse therapy Vivitrol. The company's royalties from antipsychotic drugs Risperdal Consta, Invega Sustenna/Xeplion, and Invega Trinza/Trevicta and from multiple sclerosis drug Vumerity also increased.

Alkermes had good news with its pipeline in recent months as well. The Food and Drug Administration approved Lybalvi as a treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar 1 disorder in June. In August, the FDA granted Fast Track designation to nemvaleukin alfa in treating mucosal melanoma.

2. Bank of America

Bank of America (BAC -4.46%) stands out as another strong performer in the midst of the overall market malaise. Shares of the financial services giant have jumped more than 44% so far this year and are near their 52-week high.

Most of Bank of America's solid gain came during the first half of the year. The company handily beat Wall Street earnings estimates in both the first and second quarters of 2021.

The economic recovery continues to help Bank of America. In particular, consumer small-business payments set a record for the fourth quarter in a row in the second quarter. Growing consumer demand is serving as a solid tailwind for BofA.

Rising interest rates negatively affect some stocks. But Bank of America should benefit from higher interest rates as they typically boost profits. The potential for rate hikes in the future could enable the bank stock to outperform the overall market into next year.

Buy near the highs?

Alkermes' shares trade at less than four times projected 2022 sales despite its impressive performance this year. That gives the stock a more attractive valuation than most other biotech stocks.

The primary downside for Alkermes, though, is that it doesn't have many compelling catalysts over the near term. Nemvaleukin alfa is the company's most advanced pipeline candidate, but the immunotherapy is only in phase 2 testing. The launch of Lybalvi will likely take awhile to pick up steam.

I think that Alkermes could still be a solid winner over the long term. However, my view is that there are other biotech stocks that offer better risk/reward propositions at this point.

Bank of America, on the other hand, is arguably the best bank stock on the market right now. The company's investments in technology are paying off. As already mentioned, BofA should be in a strong position to benefit from rising interest rates, even more so than some of its rivals.

There could be significant disruption for big banks in the coming years from fintech companies. I think, though, that Bank of America will be able to adapt and succeed. This stock appears to be a smart pick to buy near the high.

Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Keith Speights owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Alkermes. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Bank of America Stock Quote
Bank of America
$34.47 (-4.46%) $-1.61
Alkermes Stock Quote
$25.51 (-2.22%) $0.58

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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