Shares of Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) leapt 7.4% on Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a
temporary halt to Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
And, this situation is
not going to change anytime soon.
The company is of course
best known for its COVID-19 vaccine and in the near-term that is what will
continue to drive the stock price.
In addition to the
vaccine currently being administered in the U.S. and several overseas markets,
Moderna is developing a next-gen COVID-19 vaccine. It hopes the product can not
only be a single shot vaccine but solve the storage conundrum by being able to
be stored in regular refrigerators. It is also studying yet another COVID-19
vaccine that is better equipped to protect against the new coronavirus variants.
The Major Catalysts for This Trade.....
1. The Johnson &Johnson
The CDC and FDA are asking states to
pause immunizations with J&J's drug while they investigate six reported
U.S. cases of blood clots in people who received the vaccine. The regulatory
agencies noted that these incidents were "extremely rare," as more
than 6.8 million doses of J&J's vaccine have been administered.
Additionally, J&J said that it
decided to "proactively delay the rollout" of its vaccine in Europe.
"We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities,
and we strongly support the open communication of this information to
healthcare professionals and the public," the company said in a statement.
Moderna stock and fellow COVID-19
drugmaker Pfizer are expected to help make up for a potential shortfall in
J&J's vaccine supply if the pause in its rollout is extended, though it
will likely take some time for them to ramp up production.
Moderna said after the market close
that it remains on track to deliver a total of 300 million doses to the U.S.
government by end of July 2021.
2. Bullish Technical Picture for Moderna Stock.....
Moderna has a bullish technical picture that may
appeal to the risk-taking investor.
Moderna's daily chart closed out last week with a
bullish continuation wedge pattern. Also similar to the previous two patterns,
a wedge pattern forms when two trend lines converge. It is considered one of
the more potent formations. The wedge-shaped trend lines suggest that a
reversal is underway.
In the case of Moderna, the upside associated with
the pattern is substantial. The wedge forecasts that the broader uptrend will
resume and that Moderna could climb as high as $210 by early June 2021. Given
how volatile the stock has been in recent months, a 50% late spring run could
certainly be in the cards.
3. UK Study.....
A UK study into using different
COVID-19 vaccines in two-dose inoculations is being expanded to include shots
made by Moderna and Novavax, researchers said on Wednesday.
The trial, known as the Com-Cov
study, was first launched in February to look at whether giving a first dose of
one type of COVID-19 shot, and a second dose of another, elicits an immune
response that is as good as using two doses of the same vaccine.
The idea, said Matthew Snape, the
Oxford University professor leading the trial, "is to explore whether the
multiple COVID-19 vaccines that are available can be used more flexibly".
Britain and many other countries in
Europe are currently using AstraZeneca's and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines in
nationwide immunisation campaigns against the coronavirus pandemic.
But reports of very rare blood clots
have prompted some governments - including France and Germany - to say the
AstraZeneca shot should only be given to certain age groups, or that people who
have had a first dose of AstraZeneca's vaccine should switch to a different one
for their second dose.
"If we can show that these
mixed schedules generate an immune response that is as good as the standard
schedules, and without a significant increase in the vaccine reactions, this
will potentially allow more people to complete their COVID-19 immunisation
course more rapidly," Snape said.
"This would also create
resilience within the system in the event of a shortfall in availability of any
of the vaccines."
4. Strong Efficacy.....
Moderna Inc. said late Tuesday that
its COVID-19 vaccine continued to show "strong efficacy," including
greater than 90% efficacy against cases of COVID-19 and greater than 95%
against severe cases of COVID-19 in a median six-month follow-up.
New preclinical data also showed
variant-specific booster vaccine candidates working, the company said. "We
are looking forward to having the clinical data from our variant-specific booster
candidates" as well as clinical data from a study of the vaccine in teens,
Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.
Moderna said it has delivered about
132 million doses of its vaccine globally.
5. South Africa.....
Moderna said late Tuesday its
updated Covid vaccine generated antibodies against the mutation first
discovered in South Africa. The news prodded Moderna stock in after-hours
The company tested two updated
vaccines. One specifically targets the variant first discovered in South
Africa. The other combines Moderna's authorized vaccine with the updated shot.
Both increased the level of
antibodies against viral mutations in mice. The combination approach led to the
"broadest level of immunity." Using the variant-specific vaccine as a
six-month booster shot also increased antibody levels.
6. Effectiveness of Vaccine.....
As of April 9, the original
coronavirus vaccine has proven to be more than 90% effective against Covid and
95% effective against severe cases. This is based on more than 900 cases of
Covid among study participants, including roughly 100 severe cases, Moderna
Further testing shows antibodies
persist for at least six months following the second dose of the Covid vaccine,
As of April 12, the company has
delivered 132 million doses of its Covid vaccine globally. It's on track to
deliver the second 100 million doses to the U.S. government by the end of May.
Following that, Moderna plans to send an additional 100 million doses by the
end of July.
Moderna also affirmed its Covid
vaccine hasn't been tied to blood clots nor thrombotic events among more than
64.5 million doses administered globally.
The positive headlines could very
well keep rolling in for Moderna and help strengthen its leadership position
during the pandemic. In the meantime, the technical and fundamentals both seem
to agree that this will soon be a $200 stock.
is already on its way to billion-dollar revenue this year. The company in
February said advance purchase agreements for its coronavirus vaccine translate
into $18.4 billion in sales. And that number may have even increased since.
There's no doubt Moderna's vaccine will generate blockbuster-level revenue this
chief medical officer Tal Zaks said Moderna is on track to have a
booster shot ready "by the end of this year." The booster is meant to
better protect against new strains of concern. And Moderna could possibly
update such a product as new variants arise.
Over the past 90 days, the Consensus
Estimate for MRNA's full-year earnings has moved 117.30% higher. This shows
that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is
Based on the latest available data,
MRNA has gained about 34.89% as of Monday this year. Meanwhile, the Medical
sector has returned an average of -2.35% on a year-to-date basis. As we can
see, Moderna stock is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.