Morgan Stanley now sees Moderna shares spiking 26% from current levels, cites 65% chance of success for virus vaccine

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesScientist Xinhua Yan works in the lab at Moderna in Cambridge, MA on Feb. 28, 2020.

  • Morgan Stanley raised its Moderna price target to $US90 from $US37, citing “initial promising Covid-19 vaccine data,” according to a Wednesday note.
  • That’s a 26% jump from where shares of Moderna currently trade.
  • The bank risk-adjusted its estimates following the early results of the vaccine and now sees a 65% probability of success – higher than usual for typical phase two vaccine candidates, the note said.
  • Watch Moderna trade live on Markets Insider.
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Morgan Stanley has boosted its price target for Moderna following “initial promising Covid-19 vaccine data” that prompted the firm to add risk-adjusted sales into its model.

The bank’s price target for the pharmaceutical company is now $US90, up from $US37, according to a Wednesday note. That’s a 26% jump from where shares of Moderna closed Tuesday, following an epic surge on Monday when it released positive results from an early trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate.

“We believe both Moderna’s ability to scale coupled with the promising early results positions them well to compete in the market,” Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison wrote. The bank maintained its “overweight” rating of Moderna.

In addition, given Moderna’s early results, the bank risk-adjusted its estimates and now sees a 65% probability of success for the vaccine. That’s slightly higher than the roughly 56% success probability of typical phase two vaccine candidates, according to bank.

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There are four drivers of Morgan Stanley’s $US53 boost to its Moderna valuation, according to the Wednesday note.

The bank is allotting $US23 per share for the COVID-19 valuation, and $US12 per share for increased year-end 2021 cash and lower dilution given Moderna’s fund-raising at a higher valuation, said Harrison.

The bank is also adding $US11 per share “related to higher probability of success across the vaccine platform given the continuing encouraging results” and the updated vaccine candidate timeline of six to nine more months, from three to four more years. Morgan Stanley also added $US7 per share for Moderna’s increased platform value.

The firm now assumes that Moderna will sell about 1.5 billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic period and roughly 150 million annual doses during the endemic period.

Moderna has gained roughly 255% year-to-date.

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