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Coronavirus Vaccine: Novavax and Moderna Lead the Race


May. 18 2020, Published 8:43 a.m. ET

Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock rose almost 133% in the week ended May 15 and closed at $43.63. The stock has generated returns of 552% in the last 12 months and 149% in the last month. Novavax is trading 1,133% above its 52-week low of $3.54 and 5% below its 52-week high of $46.00.

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Novavax reported revenue of $3.4 million in Q1

Last week, Novavax announced its first-quarter results. In the first quarter, the company reported an EPS of -$0.58 compared to -$2.11 in the first quarter of 2019. The earnings beat analysts’ consensus estimate of -$0.70 per share. Novavax generated revenue of $3.4 million—a reduction of 15.2% from the first quarter of 2019. The biotechnology company also beat analysts’ consensus revenue expectation of $1.7 million.

Last week, Novavax said that it received $384 million in CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) funding for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. To learn more, read Novavax Rose 38% Due to $384 Million COVID-19 Funding.

Analysts’ recommendations for Novavax stock

Among the seven analysts covering Novavax stock, five recommend a “buy,” one recommends a “hold,” and one recommends a “sell.” The mean target price of $45.60 implies a 4.5% upside from the closing price of $43.63 on May 15.

Last week, Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Michael Higgins raised its target price on Novavax stock to $50 from $38 with a “buy” rating. According to a report from TheFly, “Novavax’s Dr. Glenn presented unparalleled data on the preclinical development of NVX-CoV2373, the company’s vaccine against COVID-19, emphasizing how the process was familiar to the team through its work with multiple other vaccine projects including flu, RSV, Ebola, and SARS.” He also said, “His new price target reflects continued confidence in the successful completion of development and global approval of NVX-CoV2373, with an increased estimate for the procurement of the vaccine in 2021, from 100M to 300M doses, at $10 per dose, for a 3% share of global vaccine consumption.”

Last week, several analysts raised their target price for Novavax stock. Oppenheimer increased its target price from $19 to $38.50. H.C. Wainwright increased its target price to $50 from $33. Meanwhile, B. Riley FBR lifted Novavax’s target price to $43 from $29.

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Stock returns

On May 15, Novavax stock rose 13.9% and closed at $43.63 with a market cap of $2.5 billion. The stock price has risen 996% year-to-date.

On May 15, Novavax stock was trading 82.1% above its 20-day moving average of $23.96. Meanwhile, the stock is trading 148.6% above its 50-day moving average of $17.55 and 255.6% above its 100-day moving average of $12.27. The stock’s 14-day relative strength index score of 81 suggests that the stock is overbought.

Novavax stock has an upper Bollinger Band level of $41.14. The company’s middle Bollinger Band level is $23.96, while its lower Bollinger Band level is $6.78. On May 15, Novavax stock closed near its upper Bollinger Band level, which suggests that the stock is overbought.

On May 15, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 60 points or 0.25%. Also, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 rose by 0.79% and 0.39%, respectively.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

Investors should also take note of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273. Last week, the company received approval from the FDA to start the vaccine’s Phase 2 trial. Moderna stock rose almost 13% in the week ended May 15 and closed at $66.69. The stock has generated returns of 188% in the last 12 months and 79% in the last month. Moderna is trading 478% above its 52-week low of $11.54 and 3% below its 52-week high of $68.49.


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