Can Moderna cross US$170 as it aims to make one billion vaccine doses in 2021?
Moderna’s shares found a second wind this week, after the firm said it hopes to increase its Covid-19 vaccine output to one billion doses by the end of the year.
- Moderna Inc’s (NASDAQ: MRNA) share price is up nearly 60% since the start of 2021
- This week alone, shares spiked up over 25% after the company said 30.4 million doses of its vaccine have been supplied to the US government
- The company says it is aiming to ramp up production output to one billion doses this year
- Piper Sandler raised its price target to US$170 following the announcement
- Trade Moderna, long or short, with an IG account today
Moderna stock price: the latest
US pharmaceutical company Moderna’s share price has skyrocketed nearly 60% since the start of the year.
This week alone, shares burgeoned over 25% after the company provided a US supply update for its Covid-19 vaccine.
Moderna said on Tuesday (26 January 2021) that 30.4 million doses of the vaccine have been supplied to the US government to date. Approximately 10.1 million doses have also so far been administered in the US, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The company also confirmed that it is on track to delivering on its commitment of approximately 100 million doses to the US government by the end of the first quarter of 2021, with 200 million doses total available by the end of the second quarter.
Moderna’s stocks closed Wednesday’s (27 January) session at US$156 a share, up 2.5% on the day.
Moderna sets sights on one billion doses for 2021
According to the same press release, all US vaccine supply currently comes from Moderna’s dedicated supply chain in the US.
Earlier this month, the company also announced that it increased its base-case global production estimate from 500 to 600 million doses for 2021.
Moderna added that it is continuing to invest and add headcount so as to ramp up output to potentially one billion doses for 2021. It also continues to work closely with the government, and to provide regular updates on supply and production.
The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine first received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 18 December 2020.
US authorities have agreed to purchase 200 million doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine, with options for purchase of 300 million additional doses.
Analysts raise price targets on new variant efficacy
As concerns over new Covid-19 variants and slow roll-out of vaccines continue to surge, demand for Moderna’s Covid-19 treatment looks set to remain in place, especially since recent tests showed that its vaccine has managed to retain neutralizing effects against emerging variants.
The company issued an announcement on Monday (25 January), stating that ‘vaccination with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine produced neutralising titers against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, first identified in the UK and Republic of South Africa, respectively’.
The study also showed no significant impact on neutralizing titers against the B.1.1.7 variant relative to prior variants, it added.
In light of the above, Piper Sandler analyst Edward Tenthoff has maintained an ‘overweight’ rating on Moderna with a US$170 price target (up from US$166), citing the drug’s retained efficacy against new virus strains.
He also pointed out that the SARS-CoV-2 booster vaccine should be able to further lift any of the leading vaccine candidates, which ‘could provide a revenue tail’ for the company.
Meanwhile, Bank of America analysts kept a ‘neutral’ call on the stock but raised price target to US$140 from US$130 on Friday (22 January).
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