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Why Moderna Stock Was Cratering This Week

Motley Fool - Fri Nov 10, 2023

Moderna(NASDAQ: MRNA), a star stock during the pandemic era, continues to struggle in a world that seems to be moving past COVID-19. According to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the biotech's shares were down by over 10% week to date as of Thursday night. A disappointing earnings report published at the start of the month continued to reverberate negatively for the company.

A bull gorges her price target

Moderna's great disadvantage is that it has only one commercialized product, the go-to coronavirus vaccine Spikevax. It was a hot item during the pandemic, but its sales have faded even more quickly than COVID cases and fatality rates lately. This was a key reason the company posted a monster $3.6 billion-plus net loss in the aforementioned earnings report, accompanied by a nearly 50% year-over-year drop in revenue.

This week, in the wake of those quarterly results, numerous analysts were in an unforgiving mood with Moderna. Several cut their price targets on the stock.

A deep slice came on Monday from UBS Ellie Merle, who now feels the once high-flying biotech is worth $143 per share. That's some distance down from her previous estimation of $178. In a new research note, Merle spoke of cutting her COVID estimates "meaningfully." She's not ready to abandon Moderna, though, as she maintained her buy recommendation.

Not every analyst is positive on Moderna

That wasn't the case with her peer Matthew Harrison at white-shoe investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Also on Monday, Harrison trimmed his price target on Moderna to $115 per share from $123 per share. The reasons behind his move weren't immediately apparent, although it's almost certain they were similar to Merle's. The Morgan Stanley pundit is more bearish on Moderna's future, as he kept his equalweight (i.e., hold) recommendation intact.

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

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