Pharmaceutical Stocks & COVID-19 Vaccines

By Remitbee - Dec 14, 2020

The first round of COVID-19 vaccinations from Pfizer-BioNTech arrived in Canada this Monday according to Justin Trudeau. The vaccines are said to be distributed to 14 sites across the country and the first doses will be administered to frontline health care workers and long-term care home residents.

Almost 249,000 Pfizer vaccines are expected to be in Canada by the end of the year and the government has reported that more than 400 million doses of the vaccine from numerous companies will be secured. According to Global News “the next large shipment is expected to be the 40 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, of which two million is anticipated to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.”

The stock market has seen continuous fluctuations in the pharmaceutical space, companies have been trying to pass clinical trials while maintaining growth which has been yet another challenge to face during an already trying year.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) have been market leaders since their vaccine has already been authorized in the UK and Canada. “Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal predicts the vaccine will rake in $25 billion over the next five years” which could be low since Gal’s estimate assumes that booster shots are only needed every three years according to The Motley Fool.

“With its shares trading at less than 14 times expected earnings, Pfizer is a lot cheaper than most S&P 500 stocks. It also offers an attractive dividend that currently yields close to 3.6%.” The pharmaceutical stock is one of the best picks for traders looking for less risky stocks and guaranteed profits in the long-term.

Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) is anticipated to be one of the best performers in the COVID- 19 vaccine market going into 2021, aggressive investors will be interested in the company since “the biotech’s shares have skyrocketed close to 3,000% year to date. Much of this massive gain was fueled by excitement over Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine.” The experimental vaccine is said to be best in class after the company’s success in early-stage results according to several Wall Street analysts.

Not only has Novavax’s vaccine caused shares to increase, but the biotech has also produced a promising flu vaccine called NanoFlu which “could be a blockbuster” if the US approves manufacturing and trials.

Arcturus Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ARCT) is up and coming biotech that may end up surprising investors in the pharmaceutical market. The company’s coronavirus vaccination could have a high-efficiency rate that is similar to Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine but has an added advantage as it requires only a single dose.

Arcturus is still in the experimental phase of their vaccine but “the company hopes to move forward with late-stage testing in Singapore”, with Israel the two countries are currently the only ones that signed supply agreements for the Arcturus vaccine.

“Arcturus stock has soared 875% so far this year. Even with this huge jump, the company’s market cap remains at only around $2.6 billion” which could prove to be successful for investors if they’re willing to take on a higher level of risk with this small biotech.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) recently cut the size of the third phase of its single-dose coronavirus vaccine “from 60,000 to 40,000 trial participants. The severity of the pandemic means that more participants are being exposed to the virus, making it easier to draw conclusions about its treatment. J&J already has 38,000 people enrolled” according to Investor’s Business Daily.

Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is said to be 95% effective and doesn’t have to be stored in cold temperatures. “Late Friday, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) said the US agreed to buy another 100 million vaccine doses, enough for 50 million people” which caused the Moderna stock to rise 4% early Monday.

AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) has agreed to buy Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALXN) for “$3.9 billion in cash and stock, adding a rare-disease specialist to the drug giant’s portfolio. The deal values ALXN stock at $175 a share, a 45% premium to Friday’s close. AstraZeneca fell while Alexion soared.”

By Surina Nath

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