Rolls-Royce shares set to rebound on Covid-19 vaccine hopes
Rolls-Royce shares are mounting a recovery after hitting a low of 38p in October, with investors’ confidence in the business buoyed by Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and the company’s role in a new nuclear power project.
- Rolls-Royce shares have been in freefall in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic
- The British engineering company saw its shares fall as much 80% to a low of 38p
- Rolls-Royce shares mount recovery due to new nuclear deal and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine
Rolls-Royce shares have begun to mount a recovery after hitting a low of 38p in early October, with investors’ confidence in the business buoyed by Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and the company’s leading role in a new nuclear power deal that will create 6000 UK jobs.
The British engineering company’s shares have climbed more than 150% since hitting a low of 38p per share in early October, with the stock still miles away from where it was trading (233p) prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
Rolls-Royce is trading at 100p per share at the time of publication, with the stock down 56% year-to-date.
Rolls-Royce led consortium secures nuclear power deal
A consortium of businesses led by Rolls-Royce announced on Wednesday that it could create 6000 new jobs in the UK within the next five years if the government commits to a plan to create 16 mini nuclear power stations.
The UK SMR consortium said that up to 80% of the power stations’ components would be made in factories in the Midlands and Northern England and the nuclear power station project would generate another 34,000 jobs by the mid-2030s with most workers employed in high-value manufacturing.
Last year, the UK government has gave £18 million to the consortium to design the nuclear reactors, with that figure matched by UK SMR. The consortium is now seeking further £217 million from government coffers which it will match to push move forward with the next phase of the project.
The project will support Rolls-Royce, with the company forced to cut thousands of jobs due to its main aviation unit falling on hard times amid the Covid-19 crisis.
Rolls-Royce shares rebound after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine breakthrough
Pfizer and BioNTech have provided the first glimmer of hope that the world could have a vaccine for the coronavirus after announcing its candidate was found to be ‘more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19’.
It is worth noting that the vaccine still has a number of hurdles that it must clear before it can be rolled out, but overall the announcement has been met warmly by scientists worldwide, with some believing life could return to normal as early as spring.
‘Today is a great day for science and humanity,’ Pfizer Chairman and CEO Dr Albert Bourla said. ‘The first set of results from our Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19.’
‘We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen,’ he added.
‘With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis.’
Coronavirus pandemic prompts largest restructuring in Rolls Royce history
Rolls Royce announced in May it was undertaking the largest restructuring in its 114 year history to try to reduce costs and prepare itself for significantly lower demand from the airline industry over the longer term.
This primarily involves reducing the number of products it makes for the civil aerospace industry, including reducing the number of sites making widebody engines from three plants to just one in Derby, UK. In total, it is looking to cut 9000 roles from its 52,000-strong workforce.
The latest restructuring should result in Rolls Royce making ‘at least’ £1.3 billion in annual pre-tax cash savings by the end of 2022, building on the initiatives introduced earlier this year that has already reduced costs by £350 million in H1.
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