What happened

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) fell nearly 9% on Thursday, continuing a downward trend that began soon after the biotechnology company's recent stock sale.

So what 

Moderna's stock soared on Monday after it released positive data from its phase 1 study for mRNA-1273, its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Moderna jumped 20% -- and gained approximately $5 billion in market value -- following the release of these preliminary results.

The biotech took advantage of the occasion to raise more than $1.25 billion in cash via a public share offering, which the company said it would use to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine should it prove effective. 

Soon thereafter, analysts began to question whether the limited data Moderna provided warranted such a large upward move -- as well as the timing of its stock sale. 

A person in a business suit is inspecting a piece of paper with a magnifying glass.

After surging earlier in the week, shares of Moderna pulled back on Thursday as analysts parsed through the biotech's recent trial data. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

While the timing of Moderna's stock sale understandably raised eyebrows, it's hard to fault the company for raising the money it will need to produce a vaccine that could -- should it prove safe and effective -- help to save millions of lives.

That said, Moderna's stock performance from this point forward will largely be determined by the outcome of its ongoing coronavirus vaccine studies. Investors will require much more clinical data than has been produced so far, which will hopefully continue to suggest that Moderna is making progress toward the successful development of a vaccine for COVID-19.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.