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Billionaire Ken Griffin Snaps Up These 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks

As fears of a tech bubble and stretched valuations become the talk of the town, investors are turning to Wall Street titans for guidance, namely Ken Griffin. Founding hedge fund Citadel in 1990, the firm now boasts over $35 billion worth of assets under management.As a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard University, Griffin began trading from his dorm room with a fax machine, computer and phone. Now, the CEO of Citadel, whose net worth stands at $15.5 billion, is known as one of the Wall Street greats. Looking at the fund’s performance during the COVID crisis, it’s even more clear why Griffin has legendary status.Unlike the average hedge fund, which had a negative return of between 3-4% in the first half of 2020, Citadel’s flagship Wellington fund saw its returns land between 13-14% for the same period.Bearing this in mind, we wanted to take a closer look at three stocks Citadel snapped up recently. Using TipRanks’ database, we found out that each ticker has earned a “Strong Buy” consensus rating from the analyst community. Not to mention all three of them boast massive upside potential.AVEO Pharmaceuticals (AVEO)Hoping to provide better outcomes for patients, AVEO Pharmaceuticals advances targeted medicines for oncology and other unmet medical needs. Following an important regulatory milestone, it’s no wonder all eyes are on this healthcare name.Griffin is among those singing AVEO’s praises. Increasing its holding by a whopping 2,357%, Citadel bought up 383,720 shares in Q2. With the total position now landing at 400,003 shares, it is valued at $1,824,013.H.C. Wainwright analyst Swayampakula Ramakanth reminds investors that on June 1, the FDA accepted the NDA for tivozanib, the company’s lead candidate, for review, based on the fact that the TIVO-3 study reported positive final overall survival (OS) data. In the study, AVEO’s therapy was compared to sorafenib, marketed as Nexavar by Bayer, for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the third and fourth-line settings.Looking more closely at the data, which was presented at the ASCO 2020 virtual meeting, the final OS analysis resulted in an overall hazard ratio (HR) of 0.97, which favored tivozanib. Ramakanth was “encouraged” by the OS results as they “suggest tivozanib at least has a similar overall relative risk of deaths compared to sorafenib.”“Considering that TIVO-3 study met both the primary endpoint of progression free survival (PFS) and the secondary endpoint of overall response rate (ORR), with comparable OS to the active comparator, we believe tivozanib would likely get a green light for the U.S. approval, which could be a major catalyst in the next 12 months,” Ramakanth opined.Adding to the good news, the dose escalation for the Phase 1b/2 DEDUCTIVE study, evaluating tivozanib in combination with durvalumab, a monoclonal antibody against PD-L1 marketed as Imfinzi by AstraZeneca in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), has been wrapped up, with it progressing to Phase 2. As the CDC estimates about 33,000 patients suffer from liver cancer every year in the U.S., Ramakanth sees an additional opportunity.To this end, Ramakanth rates AVEO a Buy rating along with a $12 price target. Should his thesis play out, a potential twelve-month gain of 163% could be in the cards. (To watch Ramakanth’s track record, click here)Other analysts don’t beg to differ. 3 Buy ratings and no Holds or Sells have been assigned in the last three months. So, the word on the Street is that AVEO is a Strong Buy. The $15 average price target is more aggressive than Ramakanth’s and implies 229% upside potential. (See AVEO stock analysis on TipRanks)IDEAYA Biosciences (IDYA)Next up we have IDEAYA Biosciences, an oncology-focused precision medicine company that develops targeted therapeutics by using molecular diagnostics. Based on the strength of its technology, this name has scored several fans.Reflecting a new position for Griffin’s Citadel, the fund pulled the trigger on 248,005 shares in Q2. As for the value of this holding, it comes in at $2,881,818. Writing for Northland Capital, analyst Tim Chiang believes shares are “undervalued based on the future potential of its precision medicine oncology pipeline, which targets specific biomarkers.” Expounding on this, he stated, “IDEAYA is applying its capabilities across multiple classes of precision medicine, including direct targeting of oncogenic pathways and synthetic lethality – which represents an emerging class of precision medicine targets.”Part of what makes IDYA a stand-out, in Chiang’s opinion, is the fact that its preclinical programs use its synthetic lethality (SL) platform, which targets…

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