What happened

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) surged 10% on Thursday after analysts at Bank of America issued a more optimistic outlook for the biotech company. 

So what

Bank of America analyst Geoff Meacham boosted his price forecast for Moderna's stock to $150 from $105. Meacham now believes that the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine could be worth as much as $78 per share, up from his previous estimate of $38.

A phase 3 study of Moderna's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, demonstrated a 94.1% efficacy rate against COVID-19.  Health researchers were also impressed that the drug appears to be 100% effective at preventing severe forms of the disease. 

A person points to an upwardly sloping line.

Moderna's stock popped on Thursday. Image source: Getty Images.

Still, Meacham cautioned that Modena's coronavirus-related revenue might not be sustainable over the long term. Thus, he maintained his neutral rating on the biotech's shares.

Now what

Moderna provided an update on the status of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate after the market close on Thursday. The company reported that participants in a phase 1 study of mRNA-1273 retained high levels of neutralizing antibodies for 90 days following their second dose of the drug, suggesting that the vaccine could provide "durable" immunity to the disease. 

Additionally, Moderna said that it remains on track to deliver 20 million doses in the U.S. by the end of the year and as many as 125 million doses worldwide in the first quarter of 2021.

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