Crispr Stock Is Volatile, but Worth the Wait as a Buy-and-Hold Biotech Play

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Words like “innovator” and “leader” are found in many articles about potential stock investments, but when it comes to Crispr Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ:CRSP), these adjectives are truly accurate. The company is at home on the cutting edge of science. Crispr stock doesn’t soar like some of the technology stocks we all track.

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Regardless, CRSP shares may be a way to invest in the future of medicine.

The company is ahead of the pack when it comes to possible game-changing treatments of several chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, sickle-cell and muscular dystrophy.

As a result, it is one of seven companies named last month by InvestorPlace as “strong Nasdaq stocks to buy.”

That mention confirms Crispr stock presents an opportunity.

Nobel Prize for Chemistry

You don’t have to take my word that Crispr is on the vanguard of gene editing.

On Oct. 7, company co-founder Emmanuelle Charpentier was awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize for her ground-breaking work. She is considered a premier expert in bacteria infection and immunity. Charpentier’s work primarily has been across Europe, however, she also spent five years in the United States, part of which was at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

The Nobel award was linked to the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system. Charpentier shared the award with American biochemist Jennifer Doudna.

Professor Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, lauded Charpentier’s efforts.

“There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all,” Gustafsson said. “It has not only revolutionized basic science but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to groundbreaking new medical treatments.”

Charpentier cited “the importance and relevance of fundamental research in the field of microbiology” in response to the award announcement.

“I am truly amazed at the speed at which CRISPR research and applications in so many diverse areas of the life sciences have developed in recent years,” she said.

A Look at Crispr Stock

The company Crispr Therapeutics takes its name from the following mouthful from the world of biotechnology: clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. This refers to a segment of genetic code.

Crispr, the company, was founded in 2013. It is based in Switzerland and has offices in other cities, including Massachusetts, San Francisco and London.

Crispr reported a net loss of $92.4 million for its third quarter (ending Sept. 30). This slip into negative territory contrasts with net income of $138.4 million during the same period in 2019.

In its earnings announcement, the company said it spent more money to hire additional staff, as well as to support on-going research. Meanwhile, Crispr conducted a public offering in July that the company said raised net proceeds of $484.8 million.

Crispr stock has varied widely during the last year. Its 52-week high is $111.90 per share, while the 52-week low for a share reached $32.30.

Currently, a Crispr stock is trading around $103.

Shares of Crispr are not only sensitive to the normal influences of the market, but also to results of medical trials of its several therapies. For example, the stock dropped about 12% on Oct. 21 after a cancer patient died during a Phase 1 cancer trial. The patient that died received the highest dose, while others were given smaller doses.

The stock was up some 51% year-to-date as of September.

The Bottom Line on Crispr

Crispr Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that is developing treatments for targeted diseases using its gene-editing platforms. This is complex and expensive work, and the Swiss company sold stock and formed partnerships to finance its efforts.

Make no mistake, there is risk associated with investing in Crispr stock. Moreover, this is not a buy-and-flip kind of deal, rather this best to an investment for the long haul. Crispr’s work, although promising, will not yield cures in months but a timeframe measured in years. That makes it less attractive only if you’re an investor seeking a quick strike.

If you’ve got some money to speculate with, as well as patience, Crispr stock is a buy.

On the date of publication, Larry Sullivan did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article.

Larry Sullivan is a veteran journalist in Florida who has covered banking and finance for several years. He is a former investing editor at U.S. News & World Report in Washington D.C.

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