A featured player in the COVID-19 vaccine, but is his assessment justified?

Despite the reduction in global Covid-19 cases and the anticipated gradual return to normality, the fear of mutant strains remains.

Jefferies analyst Michael Yee views the spectrum of new variants as one of the main reasons Moderna (MRNA) is well placed to capitalize.

“We strongly believe that mRNA will trade with visibility in 2022+, where variant ‘2.0’ vaccines are in the spotlight because Street fears variants will disrupt recovery, and as long as there are variants, mRNA can benefit because it can adapt quickly. and make 2.0 and 3.0 ”, the analyst said.

Since the emergence of the South African variant, for which Moderna’s Covid-19 m-RNA-1273 vaccine was shown to be less effective, biotechnology has begun testing against the new variant; Yee expects “positive” data in the summer. The analyst anticipates a robust global effort to combat any new strains, noting that some countries have already started ordering variant vaccines.

New variant or not, Yee believes demand for Moderna’s vaccine is stronger than initially anticipated. When the company reports fourth quarter earnings this week (Feb 25), Yee expects the company’s outlook to confirm this.

“In our opinion, MRNA has clearly emerged as a prominent player, we hope that the guidance for 2021 will show this, including the potential sales of $ 15-16B + (we went up to $ 15B) and much more than what investors thought ago six months, ”Yee said. “MRNA’s manufacturing capacity appears to be increasing as US deliveries move 1-2 months ahead and MRNA is ready to fulfill its 300M commitment to the US now by the end of July.”

In contrast, the analyst says that some “valuation-sensitive investors” might be “frustrated” with Moderna’s $ 63 billion market cap. Sure, this means that expectations are high and high multiples and massive stock appreciation are cited as Yee’s reasons for maintaining a Hold rating on the stock for now.

That said, Yee raised his price target from $ 150 to $ 180, which suggests a ~ 13% increase from current levels. (To see Yee’s history, Click here)

The rest of the fairway is cautiously leaning to the bullish side. MRNA’s Moderate Buy Consensus Rating is based on 6 Buy, 4 Hold, and 2 Sell ratings. There is a possible rise of 8%, should the target of $ 172.09 be met in the next year. (See mRNA stock analysis on TipRanks)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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