Don’t Discount This Coronavirus Stock Just Yet, Says Analyst

An end to the pandemic could be in sight with two vaccine programs recently presenting promising results from late stage studies. Successful interim data from both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine candidates means a vaccine could become available before the year’s end.

It would be stating the obvious to say this is good news for all, but it does leave question marks regarding one particular group: namely the other companies in the Covid-19 vaccine race, such as Novavax (NVAX), for example.

The smaller vaccine player has had a meteoric rise this year, accumulating barely believable 2160% of share gains. But are they all about to evaporate as the company lags behind its more advanced competitors?

Not according to H.C. Wainwright analyst Vernon Bernardino.

“We believe the scope and robustness of Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine program remains underappreciated for its broad clinical strategy, the most comprehensive global vaccine distribution plan, in our opinion, in the CoV vaccine landscape, and plans for manufacturing scale up and top-line clinical readouts that are optimized to dovetail into multi-hundred million vaccine dose readiness and EUA by mid-2Q21,” the 5-star analyst noted.

Despite NVX-CoV2373 – Novavax’ candidate – being 4-6 months behind the pacesetters’ programs, Bernardino believes the vaccine could still have a big role to play. While both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines could file for EUA (emergency use authorization) before 2020 ends, Bernardino points out “there is still significant uncertainty in determining the trajectory of EUA applications once data supporting them is presented to the FDA.”

What’s more, Bernardino also argues Novavax has been busy signing global deals which will take its vaccine beyond the core US market. By the analyst’s count, Novavax has agreements in place to supply 300 million doses worldwide in 2021.

Furthermore, by mid-2021, Novavax’ manufacturing capacity is expected to increase to over 2 billion annually.

“While the company may seem a small player in the vaccine landscape to some observers,” the analyst summed up, ”We believe Novavax has the capability to compete at a level on par with larger, more-established players like Pfizer, AstraZeneca, J&J, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline.”

To this end, Bernardino rates NVAX shares a Buy, although with the EUA moved back from the previously expected YE20 to 1H21, the price target gets a haircut. Reduced from $290 to $207, the figure still represents a 130% upside from current levels. (To watch Bernardino’s track record, click here)

The projection amongst Bernardino’s colleagues is for plenty of upside, too. The average price target stands at $179 and suggests 99% of share gains over the next 12 months. Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating, based on 3 Buys and 1 Sell. (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.

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