Moderna Stock (MRNA): Should I Buy It Now?

By Amit Chowdhry ● May 21, 2020
  • Should you buy Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) now? Here is some information to help you decide.

Biotechnology company Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) is known for developing transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). And the company’s product pipeline includes prophylactic vaccines, cancer vaccines, intratumoral immuno-oncology, systemic intracellular therapeutics, regenerative therapeutics, and systemic secreted therapeutics. And Moderna is also one of the front-runners for developing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U.S.

Moderna’s stock price has been on a bit of a wild ride this past month. It went from $47.93 on May 1 to $80 on May 18 and back down to between $66 and $67 now. When the company stock hit $80, it was due to the company releasing positive interim clinical data from the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine trial.

On that same night, the company announced it would sell $1.34 billion in stock to fund manufacturing costs involved with developing the COVID-19 vaccine. This would be raised by offering 17.6 million shares priced at $76 each. And underwriters will be able to buy an additional 2.64 million shares within 30 days of closing. Morgan Stanley is serving as the sole book-running manager of the offering.

Moderna pointed out that the proceeds will be used for “working capital needs” once it has received regulatory approval. And the remaining funds will be used for clinical development and drug discovery and to further develop its mRNA technology platform.

Earlier this week, it was announced that former Moderna executive Moncef Slaoui — who was brought on to lead the White House coronavirus vaccine project — will be divesting around $12.4 million worth of stock options he has in Moderna so there is no conflict of interest.

Stephan Bancel, President and founding CEO at Moderna Therapeutics, said back in April that the company received as much as $483 million in taxpayer funds for accelerating the development of a coronavirus vaccine, which also led to a jump in the stock price.

Should You Buy Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA)Now?

Based on the reports I have been reading, 91% of analysts are saying buy, 9% of analysts are saying hold, and 0% are saying sell.

Case From The Bulls

On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley analysts set a price target of $90 for Moderna. And Morgan Stanley pointed out that the company will sell an estimated 1.5 billion doses during the pandemic and around 150 million doses every year after that.

Case From The Bears

Recently, Moderna also shared that 8 out of 45 participants in its COVID-19 vaccine had developed neutralizing antibodies. But the bears pointed out that the company did not share data about the immune response for the other 37 participants.

Disclosure: I own a small number of Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) shares. I wrote this article myself and I do not have any business relationship with any company whose stock I write about. I am not a financial advisor and all articles are my opinion. You should do your own due diligence and consider talking to a financial professional before investing.