Moderna Stock Surges After Oppenheimer Upgrade

Moderna Stock

Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) experienced a nearly 14% increase in its shares on Tuesday following a noteworthy upgrade to “outperform” by brokerage Oppenheimer. The vaccine manufacturer’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, reiterated the company’s commitment to achieving sales growth in 2025, contributing to the positive market response.

In 2023, Moderna’s shares had declined by almost 45%, marking its worst annual performance, primarily due to sluggish sales of its COVID-19 vaccine. Bancel addressed shareholders, expressing optimism with the expected launch of the RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) vaccine candidate in 2024 and the potential introduction of a flu/COVID combination vaccine as early as 2025. These developments are anticipated to drive sales growth for Moderna in 2025.

According to Oppenheimer, Moderna has the potential to have five products on the market by 2026. The upgraded rating and positive outlook contributed to Moderna being one of the biggest gainers on the S&P 500 Healthcare index (.SPXHC) on Tuesday.

Bancel reaffirmed the company’s goal to break even in 2026 as revenue grows, and research and development costs for late-stage candidates decrease. Moderna had previously projected $4 billion in revenue for 2024 from the sale of its COVID and RSV vaccines.

In a strategic move, Bancel took on the additional responsibility of overseeing sales and marketing of vaccines after the departure of Arpa Garay as the chief commercial officer. Moderna had indicated in November that it would likely achieve the lower end of its sales forecast of $6 billion to $8 billion for 2023, reflecting subdued demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

Comparatively, Moderna’s price-to-tangible book value ratio, a common benchmark for stock valuation, stood at 2.84, in contrast to 1.21 for its rival BioNTech. The upgraded outlook and positive sentiments signal a potential turnaround for Moderna following the challenges faced in 2023.

Featured Image: Freepik

Please See Disclaimer