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Moderna, Inc Ranked Among This Week’s Trending Stocks Among COVID-19 Concerns And Vaccine Mandates

Last week, a number of big names splashed across our lists as the stock market started the week setting new records. While some U.S. economic data disappointed investors – notably a dip in the U.S. service sector on the back of Delta concerns – the FDA’s full-use authorization for Pfizer’s
PFE
Covid-19 vaccine appears to be a step toward reopening once again. 

A number of companies, universities, and government departments (including the Pentagon) have already given vaccine mandates the green light following the FDA’s approval. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines
DAL
opted for a $200 per month health insurance premium surcharge for its employees instead of an out-and-out mandate. 

And although the previous week’s jobless claims data came in at just 353,000, the Federal Reserve’s Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday noted at the annual Jackson Hole symposium that the central bank would not tighten its policy or taper stimulus with “substantial slack remaining in the labor market.” 

Now, to the real reason you’re here.

To kick off every week, we round up all the stocks that trended in the prior sessions, as well as those that our AI predicts may continue to trend. Whether these stocks just announced their quarterly financials, hit a bout of amplified press, or just knocked the socks off the rest of the market, they’ve topped our charts for a reason. 

Q.ai runs daily factor models to get the most up-to-date reading on stocks and ETFs. Our deep-learning algorithms use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to provide an in-depth, intelligence-based look at a company – so you don’t have to do the digging yourself. 

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Moderna, Inc (MRNA)

Moderna, Inc slid 4.5% on Friday, closing down to $382.22 per share with 13.2 million trades on the docket. The stock is up nearly 266% for the year, though it rests down over $13 from its 22-day price average. At this time, Moderna trades at 8.7x forward earnings. 

Moderna trended last week as it rode the wave of Pfizer’s FDA success. The full use authorization gave Moderna investors hope that Moderna’s own Covid-19 vaccine could be next in line for approval, which would allow Moderna to sell directly to consumers in addition to current activities. 

However, Moderna hit a bad patch of press over the weekend after two people in Japan died after receiving their Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Japan’s health ministry reported on Saturday that the two shots came from batches that have since been recalled following contamination concerns. Moderna and its domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical, reported that there is “no evidence” at this time that the deaths are linked to the vaccine. 

Over the last three fiscal years, Moderna’s revenue has soared nearly 5,100%, climbing from $135 million to over $803 million. In the same period, operating income leapt from $413 million to $763 million, while per-share earnings saw even greater growth from $1.96 to $4.95. Additionally, return on equity grew from 35.7% to almost 40% in the three-year period. 

Currently, Moderna is expected to see around 57% revenue growth in the next year. Our AI rates this biotech stock C in Technicals and Quality Value, D in Low Volatility Momentum, and F in Growth. 

Nvidia Corporation (NVDA)

Nvidia Corporation popped almost 2.6% on Friday, trading 30.47 million shares to a final price of $226.36. The stock is up 73.4% for the year and $22 over its 22-day price average. Currently, Nvidia trades at 52.3x forward earnings. 

Nvidia hit our trending lists last week after its Q2 2021 earnings report had investors seeing green. The company reported $6.5 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 68% YOY, with an operating income of $2.44 billion and a net income of $2.37 billion. As a result, diluted per-share earnings came in at a healthy 94 cents. 

But Nvidia also saw some turbulence in the near future involving its prospective $54 billion acquisition of England-based chip designer ARM. Last week, Europe’s competition authority expressed misgivings about the takeover, noting that it would give Nvidia a competitive advantage in throttling creativity and competitors’ access to forward-thinking designs. Many of Nvidia’s competitors – and even the company’s own client Elon Musk – have disclosed similar sentiments since the original announcement. 

Over the last few fiscal years, Nvidia’s revenue has surged nearly 87% to $16.675 billion compared to $11.72 billion three years prior, while operating income saw even more spectacular growth of 93% from $3.8 billion to $4.7 billion. Meanwhile, per-share earnings surged 68% to $1.72 – though return on equity actually fell from 49.3% to 29.8%. 

All told, Nvidia is expected to see around 5.6% revenue growth in the next year. Our AI rates this chipmaker A in Technicals and Growth, B in Low Volatility Momentum, and C in Quality Value. 

Best Buy Company, Inc (BBY)

Best Buy Company, Inc slid 0.5% on Friday, closing out the day at $117.50 on the back of 2 million trades. The stock sits up almost 18% for the year and trades at 13.3x forward earnings. 

Best Buy made our trending lists last week after its Q2 2022 earnings report hit the news cycle. The tech retailer and Geek Squad purveyor reported $11.85 billion in revenue for the quarter for total growth of 20% YOY, coming out to an adjusted EPS of $2.98. All told, net income came out to $734 million, up from $432 million in the year-ago quarter. 

Thanks to its excellent performance, the retailer raised the remaining year’s forecast on the back of a “dramatic and structural increase in the need for technology.” In the coming quarter, Best Buy expects revenue in the range of $11.4 to $11.6 billion, though management also predicts same-store sales will decline up to 3%. 

Over the last three fiscal years, Best Buy’s revenue has jumped 22% from $42.88 billion to over $47.26 billion. Operating income surged nearly 70% to $2.59 billion compared to $1.96 billion three years prior, while EPS soared 88% from $5.20 to $6.84. However, return on equity grew only marginally from 42.3% to 44.6%. 

At this time, our AI grades Best Buy the ultimate B, with Bs in Technicals, Growth, Low Volatility Momentum, and Quality Value. 

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc surged 3.9% Friday to end the week at $111.40 per share, closing the session with over 61 million trades on the docket. At this time, the stock sits up 21.5% for the year and trades at 41.6x forward earnings. 

AMD hit our trending lists last week thanks to an unlikely partnership with the rival Nvidia to provide the U.S. Department of Energy with special-order semiconductor chips to power its new supercomputer. The computer itself, oddly enough, is only a placeholder, as currently the Department of Energy is waiting on yet another chipmaker – Intel – to deliver an even more powerful supercomputer. Once (or if) Intel’s supercomputer is delivered, it’s predicted to perform a whopping 1 quintillion calculations per second. 

However, with Intel’s “Aurora” supercomputer months behind and looking to stay that way at least until 2022, AMD is taking its fortunes where it can find them. And this is far from the first time AMD has stolen market share, as the chipmaker has been quickly gaining in Intel after the larger rival has faced one production woe after another in recent years. 

In the last three fiscal years, AMD’s revenue surged over 106% from $6.47 billion to over $9.76 billion, with operating income climbing an astonishing 462% from $451 million to $1.37 billion. Meanwhile, per-share earnings soared from 32 cents to $2.06 in the period as return on equity climbed from 36.2% to 57.5%. 

Currently, AMD is expected to see around 7.2% revenue growth in the next year. Our AI rates this chipmaker A in Growth, B in Quality Value, C in Low Volatility Momentum, and F in Technicals. 

Salesforce.com, Inc (CRM)

Salesforce.com, Inc nicked down 0.5% Friday to $266.53 per share, closing out the session with nearly 8 million trades on the books. The stock sits up 20% for the year and $16 over its 22-day price average. Currently, Salesforce trades at 69.4x forward earnings. 

Salesforce – now the owner of Slack – is an enterprise software maker and cloud company. The firm hit our trending lists after blowing past analyst expectations during its Q2 2022 earnings call. The software company reported $6.34 billion in revenue, or 23% growth since the year-ago quarter, with a diluted EPS of 56 cents and operating cash flow of $386 million. 

On the back of its eyewatering performance, Salesforce management raised its full-year guidance to $26.2 billion in revenue and profits reflecting up to 15% YOY growth. And following its earnings call, the company’s CEO, Marc Benioff, reported that the company’s performance remains strong in light of the rise of remote work around the world. 

According to Benioff, employees – including its own – “can be successful from anywhere” with the right tools, contrary to statements provided by some of the company’s rivals and peers. 

And Benioff may have a point: over the last three years, Salesforce’s revenue has surged 77.2% from $13.28 billion to $21.25 billion even during the pandemic. Meanwhile, per-share earnings soared from $1.43 to $4.38 as return on equity grew from 8.5% to 10.8%. The only metric on our list that decreased was operating income, which fell from $535 million to $455 million. 

Currently, Salesforce is expected to see around 10.5% revenue growth in the next 12 months. Our AI rates this cloud-based company B in Quality Value, C in Technicals and Growth, and D in Low Volatility Momentum.

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