Moderna Stock: Is It A Buy After Hitting A Fresh Record On S&P 500 Addition? Here’s What MRNA Stock Chart Shows

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Moderna stock hit a series of record highs in July on several pieces of bullish vaccine news and as it prepared to join the S&P 500.




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Recently, Moderna (MRNA) won a supply agreement for 20 million coronavirus shots in Argentina. The company also announced it had dosed the first participant in a study of its seasonal flu vaccine. And, in June, India granted Moderna’s Covid vaccine emergency authorization.

The Moderna shot will join AstraZeneca’s (AZN) in India. In recent testing, Moderna pitted the blood of vaccinated people against several Covid variants. The blood produced antibodies against a myriad of variants, including the Delta variant first found in India.

Last month, though, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating cases of heart/tissue inflammation following a second dose of messenger RNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer (PFE)/BioNTech (BNTX). European officials added a warning to the label detailing the potential side effect.

Moderna has asked regulators in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Switzerland to authorize its Covid vaccine for teens. It’s also actively submitting information to the Food and Drug Administration in the hopes of gaining a full approval.

So, all in all, is Moderna stock a buy today?

A Fundamental Look At Moderna Stock

The biotech company is banking on its messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology. Messenger RNA is a substance in the body that delivers the instructions for creating protein.

So-called spike proteins cover the type of coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Moderna’s vaccine contains mRNA that tells the body to produce a structure similar to the spike protein. The idea is that this will trigger the immune system to create disease-fighting antibodies and T-cells.

Moderna just reported its first quarter of profitability. In the first quarter, Moderna earned $2.84 per share, minus some items, on $1.94 billion in revenue. The latter number included $1.73 billion in sales of its Covid vaccine. Profits beat forecasts, but sales lagged.

The revenue growth was massive and profits are bullish, though it’s still early innings. CAN SLIM investors are encouraged to seek stocks with recent 20%-25% quarterly revenue and earnings growth. The bigger that growth, the better.

In the second quarter, analysts polled by FactSet expect Moderna to earn $5.96 per share on $4.21 billion in sales. Earnings would turn around from year-earlier losses and sales would grow by a quadruple-digit percentage.

Moderna stock has a Composite Rating of 78 out of a best-possible 99. The Composite Rating is a 1-99 measure of a stock’s key fundamental and technical measures. So MRNA stock barely ranks in the top quartile of all stocks on those metrics.

What Does 2020 Say About MRNA Stock?

Moderna stock went public at 23 in late 2018.

In 2019, the biotech stock popped about 38%. In 2020, though, shares rocketed more than 434%.

Still, the bullish Moderna stock action does not extend to fundamental measures. In 2020, Moderna reported a loss of $1.96 per share on $803 million in sales. Sales soared, but losses deepened.

In 2021, analysts expect Moderna to earn $26.17 per share on $18.77 billion in sales. Earnings would swing from year-ago losses and sales would soar by a quadruple-digit percentage.

Moderna Stock: Technical Analysis

Moderna stock surged above a profit-taking zone after breaking out of a cup-with-handle base on June 30. Investors are encouraged to take profits when a stock is 20%-25% above its entry. Shares are now well beyond their profit-taking zone, and aren’t currently forming a new base.

Moderna stock held above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages on July 20, according to MarketSmith.com.

Shares also have a perfect Relative Strength Rating of 99 out of a best-possible 99. The RS Rating is a 1-99 measure of a stock’s 12-month performance. This puts Moderna stock in the top 1% of all stocks on that metric.

But MRNA stock has a poor EPS Rating of 32, an improvement, but still reflecting years of per-share losses.

Keep tabs on IBD Digital for more on stock ratings.

Covid Vaccine Boosts Shares

On July 12, Moderna stock rose 2.8% after the company announced a supply agreement with Argentina for 20 million doses of its Covid vaccine or its updated variant-specific booster shot. The latter hasn’t been authorized. But delivery is expected in the first quarter.

At a final analysis, Moderna’s Covid vaccine was 94.1% effective. In March, the CDC said a test of health care workers in the U.S. showed Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are 80% effective after the first dose. The second dose increases the effectiveness to 90%.

Now, Moderna is working to expand its Covid vaccine to other populations. In June, it asked for the U.S., Europe, Canada and Switzerland to authorize its vaccine for teens.

It’s also working on a booster shot and testing its vaccine against variants. In an early-phase test, the vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies against variants known as Beta, Kappa, Delta and Eta, as well as variants first identified in Uganda and Angola.

New FDA Guidance

The FDA plans to allow storage of Moderna’s vaccine for 24 hours at room temperature. The agency considers a punctured vial usable for up to 12 hours, up from prior guidance for six hours. Workers can also get 15 doses from two vials, up from 11 previously.

Moderna has also announced a long-term supply agreement for the shot with a coalition of low-income nations. It will supply 34 million doses this year and 466 million doses in 2022.

On June 7, Moderna said it would partner with Medison Pharma to commercialize the Covid vaccine in central eastern Europe and Israel. Moderna stock popped on the news.

But MRNA stock remained under pressure in mid-June after the CDC met to discuss the risk of heart inflammation in young men following a second dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The agency’s advisory committee says there’s a „likely association“ between the shots and inflammation.

So, Is Moderna Stock A Buy Right Now?

Moderna stock isn’t a buy right now. Shares now bullishly extend from their buy zone and recently topped a profit-taking zone. CAN SLIM investors are advised to buy a stock when it has cleared a buy point and is within the 5% chase zone.

The company has managed to put together strong sales growth. Analysts expect that to continue in the future. Further, they see the solidly profitable in the near future. But analysts call for both metrics to slow down in 2022.

Shares have a strong RS Rating, but the company’s Composite Rating isn’t among the upper echelon of stocks.

It will be important to watch Moderna’s efforts to distribute its coronavirus vaccine. That could help stoke both MRNA stock and the biotech company’s financials.

To find the best stocks to buy and watch, check out IBD Stock Lists. Make sure to also keep tabs on stocks to buy or sell.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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