Forget Bitcoin! I think these 3 FTSE 250 stocks could double your money

first_img See all posts by Roland Head Roland Head | Friday, 13th March, 2020 | More on: PFC SMWH SSPG Image source: Getty Images. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Enter Your Email Address “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997”center_img Forget Bitcoin! I think these 3 FTSE 250 stocks could double your money The Bitcoin price has fallen by more than 40% in one month. That’s a bigger loss than we’ve seen with the FTSE 250 index, which is down by 27% at the time of writing.Unlike Bitcoin, good quality stocks generate earnings that support their valuation. I think stocks could provide some of the best opportunities for investors to profit from the market crash. Today I want to tell you about three FTSE 250 stocks I believe could double from current levels.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Read all about itNewsagent WH Smith (LSE: SMWH) was founded in 1792, making this FTSE 250 firm one of the UK’s oldest listed businesses. However, this impressive longevity hasn’t stopped the WH Smith share price falling by 50% from the all-time highs seen in January.Investors’ are worried that sales at the group’s travel division — including airports — will collapse.WH Smith confirmed these fears with a warning on Thursday that the company is seeing a significant drop in passenger numbers in the US and Europe. Together, these regions account for 85% of the group’s travel sales. This is expected to lead to a 20%-25% fall in pre-tax profit, compared to last year.I suspect the eventual impact will be worse than this. But I’ve long admired WH Smith as a high quality business that generates strong shareholder returns. The shares look historically cheap to me at current levels. I think they could double over the next few years.Is this 14% yield for real?FTSE 250 oil and gas sector service provider Petrofac (LSE: PFC) faces two very serious problems. The first is this week’s oil price crash. This could lead to a downturn in new orders and put further pressure on profit margins.The second problem is that the company is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. This has been ongoing since 2017 and has not yet resulted in the company or any current employees being charged. But it’s not over yet.CEO and 19% shareholder Ayman Asfari remains in charge of Petrofac and has made sure that the company is generating cash and is largely debt-free.But Petrofac’s falling share price has left the stock trading on just four times forecast earnings, with a dividend yield of 14%.There are obviously some serious risks here. But the shares are starting to look cheap to me compared to more heavily-indebted rivals. If the SFO investigation can be settled, I think Petrofac stock could be worth upwards of 300p.This travel stock could bounce backI’m avoiding airlines at the moment. But I do think there are some opportunities in the travel sector. One company I rate highly is catering firm SSP Group (LSE: SSPG), whose shares price has halved so far this year.This FTSE 250 firm operates more than 2,800 food units in airports and railway stations around the world. SSP runs franchised outlets for brands such as Burger King, Starbucks and Jamie’s Deli, but the group also has its own brands — you may be familiar with Upper Crust and Ritazza, for example.Profits rose by 12% last year and the company generated a return on capital employed of 20%. I see these as impressive figures in difficult conditions.SSP has been in business for 50 years. I’m pretty confident it will recover after the coronavirus outbreak. I’d be a buyer here, for a long-term portfolio. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Roland Head has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of SSP Group. The Motley Fool UK has recommended WH Smith. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.last_img read more

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Tracking genetic traits over time

first_imgFossils may providetantalizing clues to human history, but they also lack some vital information,such as revealing which pieces of human DNA have been favored by evolutionbecause they confer beneficial traits — resistance to infection or the abilityto digest milk, for example. These signs can only be revealed through geneticstudies of modern humans and other related species, though the task has provendifficult. Now, in a paper appearing in today’s edition of Science Express, Harvard and Broad Institute researchersdescribe a method for pinpointing these preferred regions within the humangenome that offers greater precision and resolution than ever before, and thepossibility of deeply understanding both our genetic past and present. “It’s clear that positive natural selection has been a critical force inshaping the human genome, but there are remarkably few examples that have beenclearly identified,” said senior author Pardis Sabeti, an associate memberof the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and an assistant professor of in Harvard’s department of organismic and evolutionary biology. “The methodwe’ve developed makes it possible to zero in on individual genes as well as thespecific changes within them that are driving important evolutionarychanges.”Positive natural selection is a process in which advantageous traits becomemore common in a population. That is because these traits boost an individual’schances of survival and reproduction, so they are readily passed on to futuregenerations. Identifying such traits — and the genes underlying them — is acornerstone of current efforts to dissect the biological history of the humanspecies as well as the diseases that threaten human health today. “In the human genome, positive natural selection leaves behind verydistinctive signals,” said co-first author Sharon Grossman, a researchassistant at Harvard’s FAS Center for Systems Biology and at the Broad Institute. Yet earlier methodsfor detecting these signals are limited, highlighting relatively large chunksof the genome that are hundreds of thousands to millions of genetic letters or“bases” in length, and that can contain many genes. Of the hundreds of these large genomic regions thought to be under positivenatural selection in humans, only a handful have so far been winnowed to aprecise genetic change.  “Finding the specific genetic changes that are under selection can be likelooking for a needle in a haystack,” said Grossman. Sabeti, Grossman, and their colleagues wondered if there might be a way toenhance this genomic search. Because existing methods for detecting naturalselection individually measure distinct genomic features, the researcherspredicted that an approach that combines them could yield even better results. After some initial simulations to test their new method, the research teamapplied it to more than 180 regions of the human genome that are thought to beunder recent positive selection, yet, in most cases, the specific gene orgenetic variant under selection is unknown. The researchers’ method, called “Composite of Multiple Signals” orCMS, enabled them to dramatically narrow the size of the candidate regions,reducing them from an average of eight genes per region to one. Moreover thenumber of candidate genetic changes was reduced from thousands to just a handful,helping the researchers to tease out the needles from the haystack. “The list of genes and genetic loci we identified includes many intriguingcandidates to follow up,” said co-first author Ilya Shlyakhter, acomputational biologist in Harvard’s department of organismic and evolutionary biology and at the Broad Institute.“For example, a number of genes identified are involved in metabolism,skin pigmentation, and the immune system.” In some cases, the researchers were able to identify a specific genetic changethat is the likely focal point of natural selection. For example, a variationin a gene called protocadherin 15, which functions in sensory perception,including hearing and vision, appears to be under selection in some East Asianpopulations. Several other genes involved in sensory perception also appear tobe under selection in Asia. In addition, the team uncovered strong evidence ofselection in East Asians at a specific point within the leptin receptor gene,which is linked to blood pressure, body mass index, and other important metabolicfunctions. The researchers also localized signals to regions outside of genes, suggestingthat they function not by altering gene structure per se, but by changing how certain genes are turned on and off. While the findings in the Science paper offer a deep glimpse of evolution’shandiwork, the researchers emphasize that further studies of individual geneticvariations, involving experiments that explore how certain genetic changesinfluence biological function, are necessary to fully dissect the role ofnatural selection and its impact on human biology. “This method allows us to trace evolution’s footprints with a much finerlevel of granularity than before, but it’s one piece of a much largerpuzzle,” said Sabeti. “As more data on human genetic variationbecomes available in the coming years, an even more detailed evolutionarypicture should emerge.”last_img read more

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