Despite some good news recently about the coronavirus vaccine it co-developed, BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) has been hit with a recommendation downgrade.
In a research note published on Tuesday, Bryan Garnier analyst Olga Smolentseva changed her view on the stock to neutral from the previous buy recommendation. At the same time, though, she significantly raised her price target on the stock, from $135 per share to $206.
BioNTech shot to fame last year due to that vaccine, BNT162b2, which it co-developed with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Both became popular coronavirus stocks, particularly after the jab was authorized for emergency use in both the the U.S. and the European Union -- two massive markets -- in December.
This pushed BioNTech's results high into the sky; last Friday, the company unveiled its first-quarter results, showing higher-than-expected revenue growth of nearly 7,300% and a flip deep into the black on the bottom line.
BNT162b2 should find its way into more American arms; on Monday, the FDA expanded its Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccine to include adolescents ages 12 to 15. The regulator quoted its acting commissioner, Janet Woodcock, as saying that this "allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic."
But many investors might consider BioNTech's explosive growth story to be over. In terms of both cases and fatalities, the pandemic is receding across the U.S., plus the Biden administration has indicated its support for patent waivers on coronavirus vaccines.
At any rate, Smolentseva's new outlook on the stock isn't doing it any favors. In late afternoon trading Tuesday, BioNTech was down by 2.2% while the S&P 500 index was falling 1.9%.