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Why Moderna Is Beating the Market Today

By Eric Volkman – Sep 7, 2021 at 3:25PM

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Recent announcements and a pair of analyst price target hikes have put some zip into the company's stock price.

What happened

Despite some mildly discouraging recent developments for its coronavirus vaccine booster ambitions, Moderna (MRNA 3.15%) was a standout stock on Tuesday. It was up by nearly 5% in mid-afternoon trading on several fresh pieces of news.

So what

Just after market hours on Friday, Moderna announced that it submitted a conditional marketing approval application for its coronavirus vaccine booster dose to the European Medicines Agency. Although the submittal was entirely expected, it's nevertheless encouraging given the vast numbers of people in the EU.

A scientist working on a lab sample.

Image source: Getty Images.

Following that, early Tuesday morning a pair of analysts made dramatic increases to their price targets on Moderna stock.

Morgan Stanley's new level is $337 per share, well up from the previous $190, although prognosticator Matthew Harrison is maintaining his equal weight (i.e., neutral) recommendation. Brookline Capital Markets' Leah Rush Cann, meanwhile, now feels that shares of the biotech are worth $468 apiece (formerly $353). Cann is maintaining her buy recommendation.

Finally, later Tuesday morning Moderna said it has signed a collaboration agreement with the non-profit Institute for Life Changing Medicines. The two aim to develop a mRNA-based drug for an ultra-rare genetic disease called Crigler-Najjar Syndrome (CN-1). Moderna said the program's aim is to devise an effective drug that will be available free of charge to patients.

Now what

None of these news items are revelatory or game changing for Moderna. However, they respectively show that the company remains prominent in the fight against COVID-19, is still considered to be a stock with potential by analysts, and has a solid base (mRNA) from which to develop a range of important therapies.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Moderna Stock Quote
$179.00 (3.15%) $5.46
Morgan Stanley Stock Quote
Morgan Stanley
$87.28 (-0.26%) $0.23

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