Analyst: This Penny Stock Could Triple

Oppenheimer is upbeat on APTO's cancer drug

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 25, 2019 at 10:59 AM

Oppenheimer initiated coverage on Aptose Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:APTO) with an "outperform" rating and a $6 price target -- a nearly 200% premium to last night's close -- sending the stock up 3.5% to trade at $2.09. The brokerage firm waxed optimistic on the company's cancer drug, CG-806, and its potential for commercial growth as a treatment for both acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Analysts are already bullish on APTO, with all three in coverage maintaining a "strong buy" rating. Plus, the average 12-month price target sits all the way up at $6.63 -- a level not seen by the stock since November 2015.

Short sellers, on the other hand, have actively targeted the stock, with short interest on Aptose Biosciences up 270% from its mid-June low -- and nearly 21% higher in the latest reporting period alone. However, the bearish bandwagon is far from full, considering the 740,000 APTO shares sold short represents a low 3.1% of the equity's available float.

The drug stock has certainly felt the heat from this steady stream of selling pressure, down 54% from its mid-June two-year peak of $4.55. More recently, APTO shares have been churning between support near $1.80 and resistance near $2.50 since an early September breach of their 200-day moving average, with today's upside running out of steam near the 80-day trendline.

apto stock daily price chart jan 25


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