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Are Coronavirus Vaccine Stocks Too Expensive?

By Keith Speights – Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 2:03PM

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It's important to look at the big picture.

As the development of coronavirus vaccine candidates has moved along, the share prices for several of the companies making these vaccines have soared. Some coronavirus vaccine stocks have more than tripled so far this year. In this Fool Live video, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and longtime Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights talk about whether or not coronavirus vaccine stocks are now too expensive and if there are any bargains still to be found. 

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Corinne Cardina: A little bit more on valuation. We've seen investors really bid up a lot of these stock prices since February, March. Moderna (MRNA -0.91%) was trading in the 20s and 30s back in March, now it is $78. Do you have any thoughts on any of these stocks that are really astronomically overvalued, are there any that are fairly valued or even trading at a bargain today?

Keith Speights: Yeah, I'm actually asked that question on Twitter quite frequently.

Corinne Cardina: The people want to know, Keith!

Keith Speights: Yeah! Is Moderna overpriced? Yeah. I think in some ways you could say stocks like Moderna might be overpriced, but I do think investors need to look at the bigger picture there.

If Moderna's COVID vaccine is successful then I think the value of its entire pipeline increases. Because if mRNA works well with the coronavirus, I think it's going to be a good candidate for use in other vaccines, as well as things like treating cancer and other things. My personal opinion is that Moderna is a pricey stock, but if it's successful, it's not overvalued. Now, if its vaccine doesn't pan out, then that stock is going to collapse.

In terms of stocks that might be undervalued. I think Novavax's (NVAX -1.05%) potential -- again, it's a highly risky stock, it's depending on success for its coronavirus vaccine. but Novavax also has another vaccine that has a lot of promise: nanoparticle-based influenza vaccine called NanoFlu. I think Novavax is a stock that could really go up if it's successful.

And in terms of just being a bargain, you might say Pfizer (PFE 0.32%) is a relative bargain. Pfizer hasn't had a great growth story over the last couple of years or so, but it's about to spin off its Upjohn unit and merge it with another company. I think that's going to pave the way for better growth for Pfizer. I think Pfizer arguably could be considered a little undervalued right now.

Corinne Cardina has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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