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Is Novavax Stock Still Worth Buying After Its 190% Rally This Year? Analyst Weighs In

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Novavax (NVAX) was the coronavirus stock to hold last year, as the company punched far above its weight and delivered investors incredible returns. The small vaccine player took the good fight to Covid-19, with its vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373, and proved it could go toe-to-toe with the pharma giants. The momentum has progressed into 2021, too, and shares are already up this year by a massive 190%.

While its progress has been slower than the already approved vaccine makers, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, its market entry should come shortly. To recap, the company released very positive results from the Phase 3 U.K. trial of NVX-CoV2373. The data showed the vaccine was 89% effective in preventing the coronavirus. Crucially, it is the first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to display efficacy against the UK variant in a clinical trial, with an 86% success rate against the mutant strain.

The company has already begun a rolling regulatory submission of NVX-CoV2373 in the UK and is likely to be granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA.

The latter is perhaps the most eye-catching as the U.S.’ regulatory body normally requires results from U.S. clinical trials. A late-stage study of NVX-CoV2373 in the U.S. and Mexico kicked off toward the end of last year.

The company also recently inked a deal with Canada to manufacture NVX-CoV2373 at the National Research Council’s Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Montréal, pending regulatory approval.

All the latest developments have necessitated a rejig to Cantor analyst Charles Duncan’s Novavax model.

“As a result of the regulatory updates and manufacturing agreement with Canada, we are increasing the number of doses that we project Novavax will sell in 2021 and beyond as visibility on potential EUAs increases,” the 5-star analyst said. “We believe our estimates are conservative as the company has entered a number of manufacturing agreements and has guided that by mid’21 it will have the capacity to manufacture 2B doses annually.”

To this end, Duncan reiterated an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating on NVAX shares along with a $338 price target. However, NVAX's recent surge has pushed the stock price close to the target, leaving room for just ~6% upside from current levels. (To watch Duncan’s track record, click here)

Rating wise, the rest of the Street takes a similar view. Barring one Sell, all 4 other recent reviews say Buy, which presents Novavax with a Moderate Buy consensus rating. Yet, the share price’s continued surge means the $241.5 average price target now suggests downside of ~24% in the coming months. (See NVAX stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for coronavirus stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

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.