Moderna Shares Soar on Earnings Beat, Upbeat Vaccine Sales Outlook
Moderna shares surged over 11% on Thursday after the biotech company reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter and forecasts that vaccine sales will increase during the second half of the year.
The Massachusetts-based biotechnology company reported quarterly adjusted earnings of $11.29 per share, beating the Wall Street consensus estimates of $9.90 per share. The company said its revenue soared 1,163.4% to $7.21 billion from a year earlier. That too topped the market expectations of $6.79 billion.
Moderna said sales of the company’s vaccine are expected to increase to $19 billion this year, higher than the previous forecast of $18.5 billion.
On Thursday, Moderna stock traded over 11% higher at $150.01. The stock fell over 40% so far this year after surging over 140% in 2021.
“Moderna reported Q4 in line w/ the preannouncement and slightly raised the 2022 orderbook by $500M to $19B (total $22B w/ options is the same; just converted some options to orders). Co remains in active discussions for orders for 2022 and has orders for 2023 from some countries. As Street struggles w/ where the pandemic is going, the next catalysts are Phase II flu data and COVID waves and fluidity, in our view,” noted Michael J. Yee, equity analyst at Jefferies.
Moderna Stock Price Forecast
Fourteen analysts who offered stock ratings for Moderna in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months of $265.00 with a high forecast of $506.00 and a low forecast of $85.00.
The average price target represents an 81.59% change from the last price of $145.93. Of those 14 analysts, four rated “Buy”, nine rated “Hold”, while one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.
Morgan Stanley gave the base target price of $213 with a high of $474 under a bull scenario and $34 under the worst-case scenario. The investment bank gave an “Equal-weight” rating on the biotechnology company’s stock.
“We are Equal-weight Moderna. While we believe there is long-term upside for Moderna, we believe the significant valuation increase associated with the success of the COVID-19 vaccine limits the near-term upside,” noted Matthew Harrison, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.
“The company has taken an industrialized approach to developing mRNA based therapeutics and has rapidly generated a broad pipeline of 21 programs, 11 of which have entered clinical development. We believe Moderna’s mRNA drug development platform is more diversified and scalable compared with competitors, and is validated through broad partnerships with Merck and AstraZeneca. We see vaccines and rare diseases as the key valuation drivers of the company.”
Several analysts have also updated their stock outlook. SVB Leerink cut the target price to $85 from $86. Cowen and company lifted the price target to $250 from $200. Deutsche Bank lowered the target price to $175 from $200.
Technical analysis suggests it is good to sell as 100-day Moving Average and 100-200-day MACD Oscillator gives a strong selling opportunity.
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