Barron’s is bullish on Oracle, bearish on Six Flags

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

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Gene therapy may be nearing ‘major breakthrough.’  – Gene therapy is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting areas in biotechnology, and generating new hope for patients with rare and often deadly inherited diseases, Andre Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. The first regulatory approval for replacement gene therapy could come as soon as January, if the FDA gives the go-ahead to Spark Therapeutics (ONCE) for its one-time treatment that targets a rare, inherited retinal condition leading to blindness, he adds. Other publicly traded companies developing treatments in this area include AveXis’ (AVXS), Regenxbio (RGNX), Audentes Therapeutics (BOLD), and Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR).

Key events may create ‘short squeeze’ in GoPro stock.  GoPro (GPRO), a heavily shorted stock, could be the object of “one of the most interesting trades in the options market,” Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Options on the shares are relatively inexpensive ahead of key events that may create a short squeeze in the stock, he argues, adding that a recommended upside call trade that expires in January could produce “extraordinary profits” if that happens.

Oracle shares could return 20% in a year. – Oracle (ORCL) is a latecomer to the cloud, but the company’s revenue from that business has been growing quickly from a small base, and shares have responded, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. At a recent $48, shares look like “a good deal,” he argues, adding that they could return 20% in a year.

Xilinx, Synopsys are ‘rising stars’ amid natural evolution of AI. – As everyday items get “smart,” the technology around artificial intelligence gets more real, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s, adding that the “rising stars” in this natural evolution of AI include Xilinx (XLNX), Synopsys (SNPS), and Cadence Design (CDNS).


iRobot suffering after onslaught of SharkNinja cheaper models. – In a follow up story, Barron’s notes that as it warned in July, iRobot’s (IRBT) Roomba robot vacuum now has a “formidable” new rival, with the recent introduction of cheaper products from SharkNinja. While IRobot has maintained a commanding share of the product category it pioneered, aggressive marketing, broad sales distribution, and value-priced products have quickly won SharkNinja a hunk of the market for conventional vacuum cleaners, the publication adds.

Six Flags may have peaked– Investors have had an incredible ride with theme-park operator Six Flags (SIX), with shares climbing sixfold since it exited bankruptcy in 2010, Bill Alpert writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. However, “every ride ends,” and with the number of individuals coming to the parks flat for years, upside looks limited.

Major aircraft makers, suppliers face off – While United Technologies (UTX) proposed $30B acquisition of Rockwell Collins (COL) is not a done deal, its aggressive expansion strategy illustrates trends unfolding in the industry, namely a shift in traditional turf boundaries, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. This is just the latest in a spate of recent M&A deals that illustrate a battle between major commercial aircraft manufacturers, namely Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EADSY), and some of their suppliers, he argues, pointing out that there is “lots of maneuvering” to see who will dominate the lucrative business of being an aerospace hardware and service provider.


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