Novavax Soared 20% on Coronavirus Vaccine Hopes

Today at 4:37 AM ET, Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock rose 20% to $55.40 in the pre-market session. The stock rose after reports that Novavax started the Phase I study of NVX-CoV2373, which involved 130 healthy participants in Australia. NVX-CoV2373 is a prefusion protein COVID-19 vaccine candidate created with the use of Matrix-M adjuvant to enhance immune responses.

The company expects to share the initial immunogenicity and safety results from the Phase I clinical trial in July. The Phase II clinical trial will likely be conducted in various countries including the US. The clinical trial is being supported by a $388 million funding agreement with the CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations).

In a press release, Novavax President and Chief Executive Officer Stanley C. Erck said, “Administering our vaccine in the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID‑19 pandemic.” He also said, “We look forward to sharing the clinical results in July and, if promising, quickly initiating the Phase 2 portion of the trial.”

Novavax’s Q1 results

In the first quarter, Novavax’s total revenues fell about 15.2% to $3.4 million from the same period last year. The company reported a net loss of $25.9 million, or $0.58 per share, after a net loss of $43.2 million, or $2.11 per share, during the first quarter of 2019. Wall Street analysts expected the biotech company to report an EPS of -$0.70 on sales of $1.7 million.

Wall Street analysts expect Novavax to report an EPS of -$0.55 on revenue of $12.5 million in the second quarter. Analysts also expect the company’s revenues to rise by 654.5% YoY (year-over-year) in 2020 to $140.8 million. The sales could rise by 447.2% YoY in 2021 to $770.4 million. Meanwhile, the net loss per share will fall from $5.51 in 2019 to $1.28 in 2020. Analysts also expect an EPS of $4.60 in 2021.

Analysts’ recommendations for Novavax

Currently, five out of seven analysts have a “buy” recommendation for Novavax stock. Meanwhile, one analyst recommends a “hold” and one recommends a “sell.” Analysts have an average target price of $47.60 on the stock. The target price implies a return of 3.2% based on the closing price of $46.11 on May 22.

Stock returns

On May 22, Novavax stock fell 7.9% and closed at $46.11 with a market cap of $2.7 billion. The stock price has risen 5.7% in the trailing five-day period, while it has risen 1,058.5% year-to-date. The stock has risen in 2020 due to the hopes that Novavax can make a vaccine for the global coronavirus outbreak.

Currently, Novavax stock is trading 25.0% below its 52-week high of $61.50 on May 18, 2020. The stock is also trading 1,202.5% above its 52-week low of $3.54 on November 21, 2019.

On May 22, Novavax stock was trading 45.9% above its 20-day moving average of $31.60. Meanwhile, the stock is trading 112.6% above its 50-day moving average of $21.69 and 214.3% above its 100-day moving average of $14.67. The stock’s 14-day relative strength index score of 67 indicates that it’s near the overbought zone.

Novavax has an upper Bollinger Band level of $60.78. The company’s middle Bollinger Band level is $31.60, while its lower Bollinger Band level is $2.43. On May 22, the stock closed near its middle Bollinger Band level, which suggests that it isn’t overbought or oversold.

On May 22, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 9 points or 0.04%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.24% and 0.43%, respectively.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine

Investors should also take note of Moderna’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273. The company will likely start the Phase II clinical trial in July. Moderna stock rose 2.9% on May 22 and closed at $69.00. The stock has generated returns of 214% in the last 12 months and 35% in the last month. Moderna is trading 498% above its 52-week low of $11.54 and 21% below its 52-week high of $87.00.

Read Novavax Rose 38% Due to $384 Million COVID-19 Funding and Coronavirus Vaccine: Novavax and Moderna Lead the Race to learn more. You can also read Why Moderna and Novavax Are Smart Long-Term Buys.