Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why COVID Vaccine Stocks Moderna, Novavax, and BioNTech Soared This Week

By Keith Speights - Jun 24, 2021 at 5:04PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The biotech stocks jumped for different reasons.

What happened

Shares of Moderna (MRNA 3.27%) soared 10.5% this week as of the market close on Thursday. Novavax (NVAX 2.00%) wasn't far behind with its stock up 10.2%. Shares of another COVID-19 vaccine maker, BioNTech (BNTX 1.33%), jumped 7%.

There were several reasons behind the solid gains for each of these biotech stocks. Moderna announced on Tuesday that the European Commission was buying another 150 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for delivery next year. BioNTech revealed that it was considering initiating a dividend next year. Novavax received a bump after a Canadian official announced the completion of a new manufacturing facility that will be used to produce the company's COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, Moderna and BioNTech shareholders breathed a sigh of relief after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that it would add a warning to the label of messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines related to a potential risk of heart-inflammation issues. The FDA decision isn't likely to impact the sales of the mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna or BioNTech and its partner, Pfizer.

COVID-19 vaccine vial with syringe on top of a stock chart.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

It makes sense that Moderna enjoyed the biggest gain this week. The company's new European supply deal will significantly boost its revenue. The FDA decision to add a warning label to mRNA vaccines wasn't a surprise. The agency's action helped reassure some investors.

Novavax should also benefit in a tangible way from the completion of the Canadian Biologics Manufacturing Centre (BMC). The company is working closely with the National Research Council of Canada to transfer technology on manufacturing its NVX-CoV2373 COVID-19 vaccine at the BMC.

BioNTech's announcement about a potential dividend was arguably the least important news for these three vaccine makers. Chief Operating Officer and CFO Sierk Poetting stated that the biotech would "examine, in accordance with the legal and statutory provisions, whether and in what amount a resolution on the distribution of dividends should be proposed" to shareholders at the next annual general meeting. That's not exactly a firm commitment.

Now what

The key things to watch with Moderna and BioNTech now are how many additional supply deals the companies pick up for their COVID-19 vaccines. The emergence of the Delta coronavirus variant could play a big factor in the fortunes of both biotechs.

For Novavax, the next major catalyst to look for is the company's regulatory filings for approval of NVX-CoV2373 in the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Novavax expects to complete its regulatory submissions in the third quarter of this year. 

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Novavax, Inc. Stock Quote
Novavax, Inc.
$42.30 (2.00%) $0.83
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$49.75 (-0.72%) $0.36
Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
$176.78 (3.27%) $5.60
BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
$162.48 (1.33%) $2.13

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/15/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.