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Three Healthcare Penny Stocks to Watch In The New Year

Three Healthcare Penny Stocks to Watch In The New Year

Penny stocks are attractive to many investors because they are cheap. However, many of these stocks are new and/or volatile, so while they may be a quick and easy addition to any portfolio, picking ones with a lot of long-term potential is important. And regarding the healthcare sector, here are a few penny stocks worth looking at.

While each of these is down significantly, on the year, they have all bounced back from their 52-week low values and show excellent signs of future growth.

Soleno Therapeutics Trusts New Gene Therapy Drug To Boost Value

Founded in 1999 and based in Redwood City, CA, Soleno Therapeutics, Inc (Nasdaq: SLNO) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company whose primary focus is the treatment of rare diseases. They went public in 2014, and their life after the IPO has been rocky. After all, the company has an approximate market capitalization value of $35 million, despite its shares trading below $2.

That said, the most recent numbers indicate SLNO stock is up as much as 294.62% on the year (based on volume, not closing value). The current price ($1.85) may not be too far up the 52-week range of $0.85 to $8.13, but the value is climbing rather quickly. Most importantly, their price target is $8.00, representing an upside of 436.9%.

Perhaps, analysts are betting on Soleno's successful launch of DCCR, which is effectively an abbreviation for Diazoxide choline controlled-release (tablets). This drug has been designed to treat the rare genetic disorder of Prader-Willi syndrome. This paternally-inherited condition is characterized by partial deletion of chromosome 15, which results primarily in behavioral issues and some intellectual disabilities. While the disease is “rare,” it can affect as many as 1 in 13,500 people (in the United States).

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Has the Room—and Momentum—to Grow

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARX) develops and commercializes innovative therapies specifically for medically supervised treatment. ARX stock has recently shot up to more than 348% YTD, though its current market price of $2.20. Indeed, they are very near to a true penny stock. Their 52-week range is $1.76 to $13, so they have much room to grow if they want to reach their highest price. This could be possible as they are trading nearly double their average trading volume (246,208 shares vs. 137,755 avg shares).

While heightened trading activity can be a sign of strong interest, it is important to note that the company is still negative in earnings. Fortunately, a low Price-to-Earnings ratio of 0.33 could give them a bit of momentum to achieve projected earnings growth of -$3.43 per share to -$2.93 per share. Their most recent earnings report indicated that the current EPS of -$0.94 per share beat analyst estimates by $0.26; more importantly, they beat last year's Q4 EPS by about 67%.

Much like Soleno, AcelRx also appears to be leaning heavily on their most recent project. In this case, the product is a healthcare-provider-administered pain-management drug DSUVIA (Sufentanil). This is a sublingual tablet designed for acute pain management whose trial successes could have bold and momentous implications.

Happiness Development Group Is Young but Strong

Among those considered to be penny stocks in the healthcare sector in 2022, Happiness Development Group Ltd (Nasdaq: HAPP) may be the biggest surprise. Having fallen from nearly $100 per share in 2020, the stock finally started to level out, at around $2, towards the end of this year.

With a current market price of around $4, the stock has certainly seen better days but has already doubled in value since its all-time low last month; the stock may not remain in nickel territory for long. Furthermore, the stock is inching closer to the middle of its 52-week range ($2.08 to $12.20), so if it does not grow quickly, it could be a bit more stable than the others, at least for now.

With that in mind, the stock is very young, having gone public just a little more than three years ago (October 25, 2019). So while they may appear less volatile than the traditional level of penny stocks—though this would be more like a “nickel stock”—they also have not had much time to waver. Still, they could be a smart and affordable addition to a portfolio with some room for a small stock with a big promise.

Happiness Development Group Ltd conducts research, develops, manufactures, and sells nutraceutical and dietary products. While they are based in—and market to—the People's Republic of China, they also sell their products internationally. Their products include the formulation of treatments that include natural components like lucidum spore powders, American ginseng, cordyceps mycelia, and other traditional Chinese herbal and animal extracts.

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