Why Novavax Shares Stumbled

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Novavax Inc.  (NASDAQ: NVAX  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating infectious diseases through the use of recombinant protein nanoparticle vaccines, shed as much as 10% after reporting disappointing second-quarter results.

So what: For the quarter, Novavax delivered a 51% decline in overall revenue to $3.5 million and loss per share that widened to $0.08 from $0.05 in the year-ago period. Wall Street, on the other hand, had expected the small-cap biotech to deliver a smaller loss of just $0.06 per share on $4.6 million in sales. The reduction in revenue, according to the company, related to the seasonality of BARDA-funding as pertaining to its influenza vaccine research. The company has used $18.2 million in cash thus far this year and had $40.6 million in cash and cash equivalents left on its balance sheet at the end of the quarter.

Now what: Normally, investors will give small-cap biotechs like Novavax a free pass when it comes to earnings time, but this company is a unique case. Because its vaccines can be researched and manufactured in such a short period of time, the real struggle is getting governments and hospitals to buy its product. Most serious infectious diseases -- save for the flu -- tend to not get passed to more than a few dozen persons, meaning the cost of developing an infectious disease vaccine never winds up being recouped by the company. With Novavax burning through its remaining cash on hand, I can't help but figure that another dilutive share offering, and many more quarters of losses, may be on the way.

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  • Report this Comment On August 08, 2013, at 11:16 PM, jamaicanholiday wrote:

    it is not about the eps or quarterly financials........the decline is due to 2 things......1. BARDA contract renewal is overdue creating speculation.

    2. Matrix M may require a restart on some of the trials.

    the BARDA contract will be done soon. share price will rebount.

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