Gilead Stock Flies High With a Potential Coronavirus Treatment

If you’ve been following news about the coronavirus from China, you probably heard about Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) as a source for a possible coronavirus treatment.

Gilead Sciences Stock: Still Cheap but Don't Count On a Coronavirus Rally
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But what’s really getting my attention as of late is Gilead’s growth story. In a few short weeks this biotech company has gone from a disappointment to a business full of potential.

It now has an A rating in my Portfolio Grader. Here are some of the reasons why.

GILD Stock at a Glance

Gilead stock is trading just below $75, and shares are up 15% in the last 12 months. It started off February with an earnings miss, announcing fourth-quarter earnings of $1.30 per share, missing analysts’ expectations for $1.68 per share. It was truly horrendous.

But then the company announced it was planning to try remdesivir as a treatment for coronavirus patients in China. At the time, China was the epicenter of new coronavirus cases.

Gilead developed remdesivir to treat Ebola, as well as MERS and SARS, which are both coronavirus strains with similarities to the Covid-19 strain that created today’s global pandemic.

Since then, GILD stock has been one of the hottest stocks on Wall Street. Its trading volume is commonly exceeding 550 million shares per day. That’s up about 100 million shares a day from where GILD was in Q4.

Remdesivir Looks Promising Against the Coronavirus

The coronavirus looks to be on the downswing in China. There are only a handful of new cases each day. But globally, there are now more than 360,000 cases and more than 16,000 deaths. Spain and Italy are especially struggling.

In the United States, many school systems, bars, restaurants and other “non-essential” businesses are closed. People are attempting social distancing in an effort to slow the virus’ spread and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed.

So while the scientific community is desperate to find a drug that would fight the coronavirus, Gilead’s remdesivir is getting a lot of attention because it’s showing some positive effects.

In Italy, a 79-year-old patient began treatment on March 7 and now two tests show he no longer has the virus, according to health officials.

“We have our first truly recovered patient who was treated with the experimental drug remdesivir,” said Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious disease clinic at Italy’s San Martino hospital. “We are really happy about this. The drug seems to work.”

Clinical Trials

The drug is undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials have also made it available on a compassionate use basis. The program allows doctors to use investigational drugs under a system monitored by an institutional review board and the FDA.

Data about the effectiveness of remdesivir should come in the next month. In all, there are five remdesivir trials underway, including two in China. Gilead is also conducting two separate trials.

President Donald Trump called the trials of remdesivir and the malaria drug chloroquine as possible coronavirus treatments as “very, very exciting.” Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY), one maker of chloroquine, donated 3 million tablets to the effort.

Piper Sandler analyst Tyler Van Buren said he believes remdesivir may be approved for coronavirus treatment soon, with the FDA considering a fast-track approval process.

The Bottom Line on GILD Stock

For now, Gilead provides some positive growth activity for your portfolio in a month where stocks have been on a downward trend.

And looking ahead, the price of GILD stock could skyrocket. All it needs is to be first in the door to provide a coronavirus treatment.

Louis Navellier had an unconventional start, as a grad student who accidentally built a market-beating stock system — with returns rivaling even Warren Buffett. In his latest feat, Louis discovered the “Master Key” to profiting from the biggest tech revolution of this (or any) generation. Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.

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