Analysts at J.P. Morgan downgraded shares of Moderna Inc.
to neutral from overweight over concerns about the valuation of the preclinical company, which has never produced an approved product. Moderna is developing a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is widely considered one of the frontrunners to bring a vaccine to market; it was the first company to share data about how its experimental vaccine performed in a Phase 1 clinical trial. The company’s shares, which were up 2.5% in premarket trading on Monday, have soared 384.9% since the start of the year. The S&P 500
in comparison, is down 0.2% for the year.
“This stock move itself isn’t entirely surprising given the rapid execution on mRNA-1273, the tremendous widespread investor interest on this program, and the obvious unmet need/opportunity for a COVID-19 vaccine,” they wrote in a note Monday. “That said, at these levels we are having difficulty justifying more upside given the uncertainty of the duration/characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic.”