Bank of America downgrades Moderna stock over concerns about valuation

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Shares of Moderna Inc.
MRNA,
-8.53%
tumbled 8.2% in trading on Monday after Bank of America analysts downgraded the company’s stock to underperform from neutral, citing valuation concerns. Until December, Moderna was a clinical-stage company that had yet to bring to market a single therapy, but it now has one of two authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. The company’s stock is up 52.7% so far this year and has soared 677.6% over the past 12 months. Moderna “shares continue to run…attaining levels that are increasingly difficult to justify on a fundamental basis,” the Bank of America analysts wrote in a Feb. 1 note to investors. They estimate that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine will have about 14% of the COVID-19 vaccine market in the U.S. and Europe, and it will generate peak sales of $12.8 billion in 2022, a sales figure that is expected to decline to less than $1 billion by 2027. The emergence of two other viable COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which are being developed by Johnson & Johnson
JNJ,
+0.04%
and Novavax Inc.
NVAX,
+21.72%,
also cut into analyst expectations, though neither experimental vaccine has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration or has so far reported efficacy rates as high as Moderna or BioNTech SE
BNTX,
-0.91%
/Pfizer Inc.’s
PFE,
-0.14%
vaccines. “The number of vaccine options with compelling characteristics (single injection, lower cost, clean safety) could begin to weigh on Moderna’s margins and market share longer-term,” Bank of America analysts concluded. The S&P 500
SPX,
+1.65%
is up 13.5% over the last 12 months.

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