Oh boy, here we go again. Back in May, we wrote about how Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA
) had seen promising results
from their early-stage coronavirus vaccine trials. The news was enough to send the stock up more than 30% in a single session which capped off a 350% move in just three months.
On Tuesday this week, fresh data confirmed a ‘robust’ response in the immune systems of all 45 trial participants of the Phase 1 trial, in particular with regard to the formation of virus-neutralizing antibodies. Scientists believe these antibodies are crucial in the long term fight against the new virus which has gripped countries and ravaged economies around the world over the past six months.
This update confirms the preliminary results suggested back in May and puts to bed the naysayers who suggested there was some funny business going on at the time. In the world of biotech research and trials, it’s a little unusual for a company to hint at positive results before they’re officially confirmed and released. This break from normal procedure had the more skeptical investor wondering if management was playing with Wall Street. The 30% jump in shares after May’s update was quickly undone as Moderna management immediately took advantage of the higher share price, which was up nearly 700% from last August, to raise fresh funds with a $1.3 billion stock offering.
As a result, through the end of May, shares gave up almost 50% of their total value and looked to be playing the usual biotech game of ‘buy the rumor, sell the news’. However, Tuesday’s update looks set to light a new fire under shares that will only continue to grow as the company moves quickly to Phase 2 trials and updates their ongoing Phase 3 trials based on the new results.
Their CMO, Tal Zaks, noted in a statement how “these Phase 1 data demonstrate that vaccination with mRNA-1273 elicits a robust immune response across all dose levels and clearly support the choice of 100 µg in a prime and boost regimen as the optimal dose for the Phase 3 study. We look forward to beginning our Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 this month to demonstrate our vaccine’s ability to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 disease.”
All To Play For
Assuming their vaccines pass muster with the FDA at the final hurdle, Moderna wants to be producing 1 billion doses by the end of the year and they’ve been scouting potential manufacturing partners to support this. It’s important for investors to remember that Moderna is just one of more than one hundred biotech companies racing to produce a safe and marketable coronavirus vaccine. At the start of the month Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) reported promising results from a Phase 1 trial they’re running in conjunction with a German biotech called BioNTech.
Inovio (NASDAQ: INO) and AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) are also making serious strides in their human trials and investors aren’t slow about putting money down to back potential winners. There’s a brand new multi-billion market after opening up for a coronavirus vaccine and someone is going to be first past the post.
Moderna certainly have made a name for themselves since it all kicked off in Q1 and can be considered to be at the forefront of the race, with the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, already talking about them. Modenra still have to jump through plenty of hoops to get to the point where they’re generating revenue from the vaccine, but all signs are pointing towards investors expecting them to be successful in doing so.
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7 Stocks That Prove Dividends Matter
Dividends can be an equalizing factor when comparing stocks. For example, you can be looking at one stock that is up 5% and another that is up 7% over a period of time. However, the stock that is up 5% pays a dividend while the one that pays 7% does not. That dividend factors into the stock’s total return. Therefore although the former would appear to offer a better return, the stock that pays a dividend may actually provide a higher total return.
Dividends are a portion of a company’s profit reflected as a percentage. However, this percentage changes with the company’s stock price. For that reason, a common mistake investors make is to chase a yield. But a company that pays a 4% dividend yield may be a far better investment than a company with an 8% yield. Here’s why.
The most important attribute of a dividend is its reliability. Getting a solid dividend one year has very little meaning if the company has to suspend, or cut, its dividend the next year. Investors want to own stocks in companies that have a solid history of paying a regular dividend.
Another important consideration is a company’s ability to increase its dividend. This means that the company is increasing the amount of the dividend regardless of stock price. Companies that do this over a specific period of time have achieved a special status. Dividend Aristocrats are companies that have increased their dividend every year for at least the last 25 years. Dividend Kings have increased their dividends every year for at least the last 50 years.
In this presentation, we highlight seven companies that offer a nice dividend and the opportunity for decent growth.
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