>>> Eight Twitter finance gurus charged with criminal pump-and-dump scheme / ‘We’re robbing f*cking idiots of their money.’
By ADI ROBERTSON
Dec 14, 2022
The US Department of Justice has charged eight online finance influencers with criminal securities fraud for running a $114 million pump-and-dump scheme on their collective 1.5 million Twitter followers.
According to an indictment, members of a Discord-based forum called Atlas Trading used that platform and Twitter to promote stocks they’d purchased in large quantities, making misleading statements about the stocks’ value and their intent to hold it. Once followers had driven up the price, the group allegedly secretly sold off the stock to maximize their profits. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a parallel civil complaint. Both complaints charge seven of the men directly with securities fraud, while an eighth member is charged with aiding the conspiracy through a finance podcast. The conspiracy allegedly ran between January 2020 through at least April 2022, covering an explosion of interest in securities trading during the pandemic.
“I’m playing this extremely smart”
The conspirators include Edward Constantinescu (who went by Zack Morris on Twitter and currently has 500,000 followers), Perry “PJ” Matlock, John Rybarczyk (who went by “The Stock Sniper,” with 267,000 followers), Gary Deel (“Mystick Mac,” with 143,000 followers), Stefan Hrvatin (“Lade Backk,” with 150,000 followers), Tom Cooperman (“Tommy Coops,” with 129,000 followers), Mitchell Hennessey (“Hugh Henne,” with 237,000 followers), and Daniel Knight (“Dan, Deity of Dips,” with 170,000 followers). Knight ran a podcast called Pennies: Going In Raw that was co-hosted by one of the alleged fraudsters and, according to the SEC, promoted the others as expert traders.
The defendants’ fraud charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years each, and Constantinescu faces an additional 10 years from a charge of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
The case is a still relatively rare example of legal fallout in the risky, personality-driven, and positivity-obsessed world of finance influencers, who pair unofficial trading advice with conspicuous displays of success — in the case of the eight defendants here, “pictures on Twitter of luxury residential properties, vehicles, jewelry, and other luxury items.” And the Justice Department’s indictment quotes a series of brazen text and recorded voice conversations between the alleged scheme participants.
At one point, Knight mocks an unnamed co-conspirator who frets about getting caught and says he wants to make buys “the right way”: “The f*cking right way? We’re robbing f*cking idiots of their money,” boasts Knight. (Asterisks reproduced from the indictment.) In the same conversation, Cooperman describes the mechanics of how Rybarczyk pumps stocks:
Like, what [RYBARCZYK] does is he alerts it, and then, like, five minutes later all his little minions start, like, retweeting it, and saying ‘added with him,’ so it, like, builds the hype back up. It happens every single time. They have this sh*t down to a f*cking science. It’s great.
In another recording, though, Knight worries some other members of the right might be getting too brazen. “I’m playing this extremely smart, for the very long term. If you don’t think all these f*ckers go to jail or at least get sued, you are crazy,” the indictment quote reads. “Just wait and see ... It’s market manipulation.” (The indictment’s mention of unnamed co-conspirators and recorded conversations implies that, as is not uncommon in finance schemes, somebody was snitching on the metaphorical group chat.)
Twitter shows that Atlas Trading members were identified as stock pumpers well before the indictment. An account called GuruLeaks, for instance, posted multiple tweets warning about the group. But the replies include defenders — “who cares ... I’ve been in since Feb,” reads one tweet from May 2022.
The manipulated stocks included China SXT Pharmaceuticals, Torchlight Energy Resources, GTT Communications, Surface Oncology, Alzamend Neuro, Universe Pharmaceuticals, ABVC BioPharma, DatChat, and Brickell Biotech. The Justice Department urges people who believe they were victimized by the scam to contact the address or number listed in its press release.
>>> Valaris Limited (VAL) provides offshore contract drilling services to the international oil and gas industry. The company owns an offshore drilling rig fleet of 56 rigs, which include 11 drillships, 4 dynamically positioned semisubmersible rigs, 1 moored semisubmersible rig, and 40 jackup rigs. It serves international, government-owned, and independent oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, the Middle East, West Africa, Australia, and Southeast Asia. The company was incorporated in 2009 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda.
>>> Why Shares of Veru Fell 10.33% on Monday
By Jim Halley
Nov 21, 2022
Veru lost $22.2 million in the third quarter.
The stock already lost two-thirds of its value two weeks ago.
Veru is awaiting word from the FDA regarding the status of a drug.
Investors are concerned that approval for a COVID-19 therapy will be delayed or denied.
Veru (VERU), a biopharmaceutical company that looks for novel cancer therapies, particularly in breast cancer or prostate cancer, saw its shares drop 10.33% on Monday. The stock closed on Friday at $6, then opened on Monday at $5.89. It fell to a low of $5.33 before closing on Monday at $5.38. The stock is down more than 8% so far this year, and has a 52-week high of $24.55 and a 52-week low of $4.34.
The company's stock already lost $10 a share two weeks ago when a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted 8-5 against approving sabizabulin, Veru's COVID-19 oral therapy, via the Emergency Use Authorization route.
It's not the last word, but the FDA usually agrees with advisory panels' votes. In its discussions regarding the drug, the panel noted the phase 3 trial for sabizabulin had too small a sample size and recommended additional studies before the FDA approved the drug. The company is also expecting the European Medicines Agency's Emergency Task Force review of the drug. Monday's fall reflects continued concerns about the potential FDA decision.
Veru is struggling financially, so potential bad news regarding sabizabulin is compounded. In the third quarter, the company reported revenue of $9.6 million, down 46% year over year, while it reported a net loss of $22.2 million, or $0.28 in earnings per share (EPS), compared to a net loss in the third quarter of 2021 of $2.7 million, or a loss of $0.03 in EPS.
Veru does have some therapies in late-stage trials, including enobosarm to treat metastatic breast cancer and the combination of enobosarm and abemaciclib, a therapy developed by Eli Lilly (LLY -0.08%) to treat metastatic breast cancer. The FDA granted the combination therapy Fast Track designation.
>>> Wall Street is driving explosive volatility in stocks by ‘YOLO-ing’ into options on the brink of expiring
Oct. 22, 2022
By Joseph Adinolfi
Professional Wall Street traders are copying a trading strategy popular with the Wall Street Bets crowd, and it’s driving massive volatility in stocks.
Reddit-loving day traders are reportedly returning to their day jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal, but back in the world of high finance professional traders have adopted one of their signature trading strategies, according to one closely followed markets guru.
An explosion of trading volume in options with one, or even zero, days left until they expire is helping to drive the large intraday swings in major U.S. equity indexes that are becoming increasingly common as of late, according to Charlie McElligott, a cross-asset equity derivatives strategist at Nomura.
Large trading shops have been buying — or, as McElligott puts it “YOLO-ing” — these near-expiry options as part of a broader trading strategy that allows them to profit by anticipating the hedging activity of large options dealers.
In a note to clients, McElligott compared the behavior of these professional traders to the denizens of the popular day-trading-focused subreddit “Wall Street Bets.”
“YOLO’ing into 0 and 1 Days-Til-Expiration (DTE) Options has now been ‘institutionalized’ by Vol traders at many of the largest funds on the Street….i.e. it’s not about Retail-alone playing this game anymore,” McElligott said.
Readers of ‘WSB’ might recognize the strategy from the “loss porn” posts and memes that litter the popular forum, which rose to prominence in early 2021 when its readers were credited (or rather, blamed) for driving the massive rally in shares of GameStop Corp. GME, -0.58%
Retail traders once dominated trading in this corner of the options market, but that has changed in recent weeks as institutional traders have picked up the slack as retail traders have retreated, McElligott said.
Instead of recklessly gambling like Robinhood-using amateurs, these professional volatility traders are buying these options as part of a calculated strategy to force large dealers to move markets in their favor, as McElligott explains.
McElligott even has a name for this type of trading: “weaponized gamma” which is a reference to the hedging strategies that dealers employ to lay off risk from their clients’ options trades.
The strategy has allowed these traders to generate profits in a volatile trading environment while minimizing their risk. Traders often close out the trades “mere hours” after opening them.
In that respect, these professionals are behaving like ”full-tilt day traders, using the certainty of Dealer hedging flows that their orders create to then amplify and ‘juice’ the intended directional market move,” McElligott said.
To illustrate his point, the Nomura managing director shared several charts showing how trading volume in one- and zero-day-to-expiry options has risen dramatically as a percentage of overall trading volume in options tied to the performance of the S&P 500 SPX, +0.48%, SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY, +0.45% and the Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 QQQ, +0.00%, which are among the most popular products for traders of equity-linked options.
Investors piled into these near-expiry options ahead of last Friday’s expiration, which likely contributed to the huge intraday reversal that occurred one week ago on Oct. 13, when the S&P 500 logged its biggest intraday turnaround on a percentage-point basis since 2008, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Options tied to equity indexes, exchange-traded funds, and single stocks often expire on Fridays, but some short-dated options expire on Wednesdays as well. Equity options with trillions of dollars’ of notional value will expire on Friday.
U.S. stocks logged another intraday turnaround on Thursday when the S&P 500 rose sharply earlier in the day before falling 29.38 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 3,665.78. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.59% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -5.08% recorded similar intraday swings.
>>> Revance Therapeutics, Inc. (RVNC), a biotechnology company, engages in the development, manufacture, and commercialization of neuromodulators for various aesthetic and therapeutic indications in the United States and internationally. The company's lead drug candidate is DaxibotulinumtoxinA for injection, which has completed phase III clinical trials for the treatment of glabellar (frown) lines and cervical dystonia; is in phase II clinical trials to treat upper facial lines, moderate or severe dynamic forehead lines, and moderate or severe lateral canthal lines; and has completed Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of adult upper limb spasticity and plantar fasciitis. It is also developing DaxibotulinumtoxinA in preclinical trial for the treatment of migraine, as well as a topical program for various indications; and OnabotulinumtoxinA, a biosimilar to BOTOX. The company has a collaboration and license agreement with Viatris Inc. to develop, manufacture, and commercialize onabotulinumtoxinA. The company was formerly known as Essentia Biosystems, Inc. and changed its name to Revance Therapeutics, Inc. in April 2005. Revance Therapeutics, Inc. was incorporated in 1999 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.
Glaxo - >>> GSK plc (GSK), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the creation, discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical products, vaccines, over-the-counter medicines, and health-related consumer products in the United Kingdom, the United States, and internationally. It operates through four segments: Pharmaceuticals, Pharmaceuticals R&D, Vaccines, and Consumer Healthcare. The company offers pharmaceutical products comprising medicines in the therapeutic areas, such as respiratory, HIV, immuno-inflammation, oncology, anti-viral, central nervous system, cardiovascular and urogenital, metabolic, anti-bacterial, and dermatology. It also provides consumer healthcare products in wellness, oral health, nutrition, and skin health categories. The company offers its consumer healthcare products in the form of nasal sprays, tablets, syrups, lozenges, gum and trans-dermal patches, caplets, infant syrup drops, liquid filled suspension, wipes, gels, effervescents, toothpastes, toothbrushes, mouthwashes, denture adhesives and cleansers, topical creams and non-medicated patches, lip balm, gummies, and soft chews. It has collaboration agreements with 23andMe; Lyell Immunopharma, Inc.; Novartis; Sanofi SA; Surface Oncology; Progentec Diagnostics, Inc.; Alector, Inc.; and CureVac AG., as well as strategic partnership with IDEAYA Biosciences, Inc. and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. The company was formerly known as GlaxoSmithKline plc and changed its name to GSK plc in May 2022. GSK plc was founded in 1715 and is headquartered in Brentford, the United Kingdom.
>>> Why Veru Stock Is Flying High Today
By Keith Speights
Aug 11, 2022
Veru provided its fiscal 2022 Q3 update on Thursday.
The company announced lower revenue compared to the prior-year period and a worse net loss.
However, management is optimistic that sabizabulin will soon win authorizations for treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Investors eagerly wait authorization of Veru's COVID-19 therapy.
Shares of Veru (VERU) were flying 31.6% higher at 12:14 p.m. ET on Thursday. The big gain came after the drugmaker provided its fiscal 2022 third-quarter update before the market opened.
Veru's Q3 results didn't appear to justify the sizable jump for the stock. The company reported total net revenue fell 46% year over year to $9.6 million. Its net loss totaled $22.2 million, or $0.28 per share. This result was much worse than the loss of $2.7 million, or $0.03 per share, in the prior-year period.
However, Veru's management sounded optimistic about the prospects of winning Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for sabizabulin in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients at high risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). They also expect a revenue boost from the launch of Entadfi, which treats benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) with a low potential for adverse sexual side effects. This positive outlook appeared to be all investors needed to pile into the biotech stock.
Veru filed for U.S. EUA for the experimental drug in June. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing potential emergency use of sabizabulin in the European Union (EU) under a new emergency regulatory pathway. The United Kingdom is also expediting a review of the drug.
It's fair to say that sabizabulin could be a game changer for Veru if it's authorized. The White House has warned of a potential major coronavirus wave in the fall and winter. Sabizabulin holds the potential to prevent thousands of deaths.
U.S., EU, and U.K. authorization decisions for sabizabulin shouldn't take very long. Veru has cranked up its manufacturing capacity and expects to be able to produce enough doses to treat around 250,000 patients per month worldwide beginning in September.
>>> Axsome's depression drug enters competitive market after U.S. approval
August 19, 2022
By Amruta Khandekar
(Reuters) -Axsome Therapeutics Inc on Friday gained U.S. approval for its treatment for depression, giving more than 20 million Americans affected by the disorder a new option in a market crowded by older drugs.
Shares of the U.S.-based company, which expects to launch the drug in the fourth quarter, surged 25% in early trade.
The drug, Auvelity, is a new class of treatment that reduces the symptoms of depression as early as one week, giving it a potential edge over older antidepressants, which can take up to six weeks to show effect.
The treatment has "blockbuster" potential, but the company will have to make significant investment to build the market for a new branded therapy in a field full of generic therapies, Guggenheim analyst Yatin Suneja wrote in a client note.
Major depressive disorder (MDD), or clinical depression, is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and suicidal thoughts. Axsome estimates that the prevalence of depression rose three-fold since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newer depression treatments are few and far between, with Johnson & Johnson's nasal spray Spravato being the rare new drug to be approved in 2019 after more than 30 years.
Axsome's therapy targets several neurotransmitters including glutamate and had succeeded in a late-stage trial in 2019. The long-waited approval for the therapy comes after the agency found deficiencies in the company's application last year and extended its review of the drug.
Axsome expects the ability of patients to take the pill safely at home to boost its uptake.
The company said it was finalizing a list price for the treatment and intended to start discussions with insurers in the coming weeks.
The drug comes with a boxed warning of increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and young adult patients.
Occidental - >>> Here’s Why Warren Buffett Loves Oil Giant Occidental Petroleum
August 19, 2022
Famed investor Warren Buffett is steadily snowballing a stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp. in what could end up being his biggest-ever acquisition. His Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Friday won approval to buy as much as 50% of the shares. Some investors believe it’s a step toward a full takeover, which may end up costing more than $50 billion.
Here’s why Occidental is attractive to Berkshire:
Inflation looks to be the mega-trend for the first half of the 2020s and crude oil is one of the best natural hedges out there. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a lack of investment in new oilfields over the past five years have hit supplies, leading to stagnant production profiles everywhere from OPEC to US shale. Meanwhile, demand for fossil fuels has been strong coming out of the pandemic even as governments push for a switch to clean energy.
With investments across the energy sector from utilities to solar power, Buffett claims to be a realist in the debate around fossil fuels. “People that are on the extremes of both sides are a little nuts,” he said at a Berkshire shareholder meeting in 2021.
Buffett first invested in Occidental in 2019 when the oil company was in a bidding war with Chevron Corp. to buy its crosstown Houston rival, Anadarko. Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub flew to Omaha, Nebraska, on the company’s Gulfstream V and convinced Buffett to add $10 billion to her war chest. It was enough to swing the deal and Chevron pulled out soon after. In exchange, Buffett got preferred shares yielding 8% annually plus warrants to buy more common stock at $59.62 apiece. Today, with Occidental at $71.29, those warrants would turn a profit of more than $900 million if exercised.
Initially the Anadarko deal was a disaster because it loaded up Occidental’s balance sheet with more than $30 billion of additional debt right before the pandemic. Occidental’s market value went from $50 billion before the 2019 transaction to less than $9 billion toward the end of 2020 as oil prices crashed.
But on the flip side, this created a good value play for Buffett. When crude turned around late last year and was supercharged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Occidental was best-placed to benefit. The stock is the best performer in the S&P 500 this year, up more than 140% compared with the index’s 11% decline.
“Oxy started this year heavily indebted with massive oil exposure,” said Bill Smead, who manages $4.8 billion at Smead Capital Management Inc. and is a top 20 shareholder in Occidental. Soaring crude prices mean “they’re now paying off that debt and gushing cash. It’s the best of all worlds.”
Too much cash has been Berkshire’s biggest investing challenge over the past few years. The conglomerate had about $105 billion on hand at the end of June. It is expected to generate about $8 billion in free cash flow each quarter for the next five years, according to Greggory Warren of Morningstar Research Services LLC. Inflation at the highest in 40 years is a great incentive to put that money to work.
Occidental would work better as a subsidiary of Berkshire than a stock holding “given the volatility that exists in the energy/commodity markets,” Warren said. “This could end up, though, evolving into a slow-motion takeover where Berkshire buys up to the stakes that FERC allows it to acquire until it can acquire Oxy whole.”
Occidental is not only one of the biggest producers in the Permian Basin, the largest US oilfield, but it also has one of the lowest costs with an oil price of just $40 a barrel needed to sustain its dividend. West Texas Intermediate currently trades at about $90 a barrel. Hollub has reined in the “drill-baby-drill” mentality that characterized shale for the first decade of its lifespan and is now prioritizing profits over production. Free cash flow hit a record $4.2 billion in the second quarter.
The Anadarko purchase may have been expensive, but it allowed Occidental to lift its land holdings in the Permian to 2.8 million acres, 14 times the size of New York City’s five boroughs combined. It also added steady, cash-flowing assets in the Gulf of Mexico and Algeria.
Buffett has a good personal relationship with Hollub, which began at the 2019 meeting in Omaha, brokered by Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan. This year, the veteran investor praised Hollub after reading a transcript of Occidental’s Feb. 25 earnings conference call in which she pledged financial discipline even as oil prices were rising.
“I read every word, and said this is exactly what I would be doing,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick in “Squawk Box” in March. “She’s running the company the right way.”
Inflation Reduction Act
The oil industry mostly criticized the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed into law this month. The $437 billion legislation “discourages needed investment in oil and gas” and offers “the wrong policies at the wrong time,” the American Petroleum Institute said.
But Hollub was surprisingly upbeat, calling the bill “very positive.” That may have something to do with its expansion of tax credits for carbon capture, of which Occidental is a leading proponent. The company has plans to build the world’s biggest direct air capture plant which will command a tax credit of as much as $180 for each ton of carbon sucked out of the air.
Las Vegas Sands, Salesforce - >>> Billionaire George Soros Pours Money Into These 2 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks
August 19, 2022
In the world of stock legends, George Soros stands out. While his political activities have been a lightning rod for controversy, no one can doubt his financial acumen. After all, he’s the ‘man who broke the Bank of England,’ and made a billion dollars in one day when he shorted the Pound Sterling back in 1992.
His hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, showed three decades of sustained gains, averaging 30% annual returns through the year 2000. During this time, and today in the management of his personal fortune, Soros has taken a risk-tolerant stance toward his investments, and hasn’t hesitated to trade based on news and reports of global events.
Soros once notably commented, “We [at Soros Fund Management] use options and more exotic derivatives sparingly. We try to catch new trends early and in later stages we try to catch trend reversals. Therefore, we tend to stabilize rather than destabilize the market. We are not doing this as a public service. It is our style of making money.”
So, when Soros makes a move, it is only natural for investors to sit up and take notice. With this in mind, we decided to take a look at two stocks his fund has recently loaded up on. Soros is not the only one showing confidence in these names; according to the TipRanks database, Wall Street’s analysts rate both as Strong Buys.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS)
First up is a new position for Soros, Las Vegas Sands. This casino and resort company has a storied name in its hometown – but no longer any entertainment and resort venues in Vegas. While still based in Las Vegas, Sands has now turned its focus to the international leisure scene, and owns 6 properties – one in Singapore and 5 in the city of Macao on China’s southern coast.
The company's financial reports, however, show that pandemic-related restrictions are continuing to put pressure on the bottom line. This is particularly relevant since most of Sands’ properties are located in Macao – and Chinese authorities have not been hesitant about locking down cities and restricting movement. Even so, Sands has reported $1.05 billion in net revenue in the most recent quarter, 2Q22. This was down from the $1.17 billion reported in the year-ago quarter. The company also showed a net loss from continuing operations of $414 million, compared to $280 million in 2Q21.
Despite the overall losses in Q2, Sands did see a doubling of its revenue from its Singapore property. The Marina Bay Sands, located in the city, saw EBITDA of $319 million, based on net revenues of $679 million. This compared to net revenues of $327 million in the year-ago quarter.
The results for 2Q22 are the first quarterly release for Sands since it completed the sale of its US assets. That sale was finalized in February of this year, to VICI Properties and Apollo Global Management, for a total of $6.25 billion.
As noted, this stock is a new position for George Soros, and in the last quarter he bought a total of 220,000 shares. At current pricing, this stake is now worth some $8.26 million.
Credit Suisse analyst Benjamin Chaiken lays out a comprehensive case for the bulls on LVS, writing of the stock: “LVS has held up well YTD and we think it should continue to outperform. Singapore is accelerating, Macau can’t get much worse (casinos closed), the balance sheet is in great shape, and the Singapore rebound (faster than we expected) could provide some insight into what an eventual Macau recovery could look like (maybe)... We think the stock should have a lot of support around $30, where we would argue you are embedding zero Macau value."
Unsurprisingly, Chaiken puts an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on LVS shares, and his 12-month target price of $59 suggests a gain of 56% lies in store. (To watch Chaiken’s track record, click here)
Judging by the breakdown of the analyst ratings, the bulls are clearly in the majority. Of 9 recent reviews, 8 have come down as Buys – against a single Sell. Overall, this gives LVS shares their Strong Buy consensus rating. The stock is selling for $37.72 and its $47.78 average price target implies a 26% one-year upside. (See LVS stock forecast on TipRanks)
Salesforce, Inc. (CRM)
For the next stock we’ll turn to the tech and marketing world, where Salesforce has long been an industry leader. The company gets its ticker, CRM, from its main product, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software packages. These are offered as cloud-based solutions through the popular SaaS subscription format. Salesforce’s enterprise clientele use the products to manage and solve front-end marketing issues.
Later this month, Salesforce will release its Q2 results for fiscal year 2023, but we can look back at the company’s fiscal first quarter, and its recent trends, to get an idea of where it stands now.
In its fiscal 1Q23, Salesforce reported $7.41 billion at the top line, a 24% gain from the prior year’s Q1, and the highest revenue result in the past two years. The company also saw a strong year-over-year gain of 14% in operating cash flow for the quarter, to a total of $3.68 billion.
On a negative note, the company’s reported non-GAAP diluted EPS came in at 98 cents per share, down from the $1.21 reported one year earlier.
Looking forward to fiscal 2Q23, we should note that Salesforce has guided toward revenue of $7.69 billion to $7.70 billion, or a 20% increase year-over-year. For fiscal year 2023 as a whole, Salesforce is guiding toward a top line in the range of $31.7 billion to $31.8 billion. Again, this would translate to a 20% y/y revenue gain.
This is a stock that Soros was already holding a position in – and in the last quarter, he expanded that position by 138%. He first bought into CRM in 1Q21, and his most recent acquisition added 364,209 shares to his stack. Soros’ now owns 627,509 shares of Salesforce worth over $115.24 million.
Soros isn’t the only one giving this tech stock some love. 5-star analyst Keith Weiss, of Morgan Stanley, describes Salesforce as ‘the most attractive risk/reward in software.’ and goes on to say: “We believe unique exposure to the broadest of Digital Transformation initiatives focused around driving further automation and efficiencies will prove to be a more durable demand driver for Salesforce than expected. Further, partners have indicated early signs of potential consolidation of IT budgets — a trend which plays to Salesforce's strengths given the breadth of its platform... We believe a slowdown in the business — whether organic or macro-related — is already more than priced in at current levels."
In line with these comments, Weiss rates CRM stock an Overweight (i.e.Buy) and his $273 price target points toward 49% upside in the next 12 months. (To watch Weiss’s track record, click here)
Overall, Salesforce is a major company, with a market cap of $182 billion, and it has picked up plenty of Wall Street attention. There are 32 analyst reviews on record here, and they include 27 Buys, 4 Holds, and 1 Sell for a Strong Buy consensus rating. The stock has an average price target of $240.70 and a current trading price of $183.33, pointing toward an upside of ~31% in the next 12 months. (See CRM stock forecast on TipRanks)