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Is Moderna Stock a buy?




Few companies can legitimately claim to have had a profound impact on human history.Modern (NASDAQ: ARNM) is undoubtedly an exception. The rapid biotechnology development of a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine could help end the global pandemic.

It’s no surprise that Moderna has been a big winner for investors, with its shares skyrocketing nearly 800% since the start of 2020. But is Moderna stock a buy now after that? huge gain?

Healthcare professional holding syringe with needle and vaccine vial

Image source: Getty Images.

Short-term catalysts

Moderna has already obtained Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 in several countries, including the United States and the European Union (EU). Millions of people have received the vaccine. So are there any short-term catalysts left for the stock? Sure.

Granted, the types of catalysts that might be on their way in 2021 aren’t likely to move the needle, like Moderna’s exciting announcements about the effectiveness of mRNA-1273 did last year. However, the company may continue to enter into additional supply agreements with governments. Countries with existing supply agreements could also increase the number of doses ordered, as the United States recently did.

Moderna shares could rise this year by beating Wall Street’s quarterly earnings estimates. One way to do this is to deliver more doses earlier than expected. This week alone, the company announced that it plans to complete its second delivery of 100 million doses to the United States by the end of May instead of the end of June as originally planned. It also plans to deliver the third shipment of 100 million doses to the United States by the end of July – two months ahead of schedule.

Also remember that another vaccine manufacturer’s pain could be Moderna’s gain. If any of its rivals stumble to meet their delivery goals, or if other issues are identified with competing COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna’s share price would likely rise.

Long-term outlook

There could be an even better picture of Moderna’s long-term outlook. The company is expected to generate around $ 15 billion from mRNA-1273 this year. Much of that could be recurring revenue if the COVID-19 market is like the seasonal flu vaccine market, and there’s a good chance that is exactly what will happen.

But the bigger story centers on Moderna’s pipeline. Biotechnology plans to advance cytomegalovirus (CMV) mRNA vaccine candidate 1647 into an advanced stage study this year. There is currently no approved CMV vaccine. Moderna believes mRNA-1647 could generate peak annual sales of between $ 2 billion and $ 5 billion if approved.

The company’s mRNA-1893 Zika vaccine candidate is slated to move to Phase 2 testing in 2021. Moderna’s pipeline includes 10 additional vaccines and experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) therapies in either Phase 1 or Phase 2. Biotechnology plans to ‘Add at least six other candidate vaccines to the list this year in the early testing phase: an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) vaccine, three influenza vaccines and two HIV vaccines.

In 2019, the global vaccine market totaled $ 35 billion. More than 80 new viruses have been discovered over the past four decades. Only 4% of these viruses have an approved vaccine on the market in the U.S. Moderna’s long-term opportunity is to apply its mRNA technology to target both viruses with existing vaccines and to develop better vaccines. against viruses with vaccines already on the market.

Another purchase?

One view of Moderna is that she is overrated. The company’s market capitalization of nearly $ 70 billion is much higher than the market capitalization of established and successful biotechs such as Biogenicand Regeneron. There is no guarantee Moderna’s recurring revenue will be as much as it is likely to achieve in 2021, and its pipeline candidates are still several years after potential approval.

Another view focuses on Moderna’s desirability to shake up the vaccine market in the years to come. The company has shown what it can do with its COVID-19 vaccine and plans to follow a flush-and-repeat strategy targeting other viruses.

My opinion is that there are other biotech stocks that will likely deliver higher returns than Moderna in 2021. However, I still believe Moderna is a solid choice for long-term investors who have the patience to wait for the company’s mRNA platform to be populated. its potential.

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