Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock is looking well-positioned because of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus. That should surprise NVAX stock bears who viewed it as an “also-ran” Covid-19 vaccine play.
And can you blame them?
Earlier this month, Novavax said it would delay applying for emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, from the FDA. The biotech company had previously said that it would seek an EUA in the third quarter of 2021, but now it expects to file for the authorization in Q4.
The U.S. government has asked Novavax to “prioritize alignment with the FDA on analytic methods before conducting additional U.S. manufacturing and further indicated that the U.S. government will not fund additional U.S. manufacturing until such agreement has been made.”
The shares slid almost 20% on the announcement of the delayed EUA application. However, in the last few weeks, almost 37.2 million coronavirus cases have been reported across the U.S, with California, Texas, Florida, and New York having the highest number of cases.
That’s why “also-ran” vaccine contenders like Novavax are gaining steam once again.
Also making Novavax interesting is its solid liquidity position, as it had $2.1 billion of cash as of the of Q2. By October, the company’s vaccine is expected to enter India, the second-most populated country in the world.
Short-Term Catalysts Will Continue to Boost NVAX Stock in the Coming Weeks
At this point, it’s no use projecting where NVAX stock will be in five years. Many vaccine makers enjoyed triple-digit-percentage gains last year because of Covid-19. Once the vaccines started rolling out, the stock values of most of the companies whose vaccines were not released sank.
But now, with the Delta variant rearing its ugly head, companies like Novavax are making a comeback. There definitely are, however, a few other short-term catalysts that investors can exploit when it comes to Novavax.
The company completed the Phase 3 clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, in June 2021, and reported excellent results. Novavax’s shot was developed similarly to the HPV and Pertussis vaccines. Specifically, Novavax produced lab-grown replicas of the spike protein that coats the coronavirus. An mRNA vaccine is different because it teaches human cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response.
In trials, Novavax’s jab achieved 100% protection against moderate and severe disease, 92.6% efficacy against Variants of Concern/Variants of Interest, and 91% efficacy among high-risk individuals.
But the major vaccine producers are already obtaining all the available revenue. Some may say that even if Novavax manages to get all its ducks in a row, that won’t matter. And people generally flock towards known performers, who will come up with booster shots to increase their profits.
Well, there are two sides to every argument. Undoubtedly, companies like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) will benefit from the increased global spread of the disease. But just over 4.91 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide, which works out to 64 doses for every 100 people. So the unaddressed market is still very large.
Novavax’s Contract Wins Are Piling Up
Novavax has made several deals with foreign entities. The European Union has signed an agreement with Novavax. As a result, the countries in the bloc can buy up to 100 million vaccine doses with an option for an additional 100 million doses through 2023.
By October 2021, NVX-CoV2373 is expected to debut in India, subject to approval by the Central Drug Standard Organisation, India’s pharmaceuticals regulator. With the huge country struggling to contain the virus., it may be a big market for Novavax.
Serum Institute of India (SII), an Indian biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals company, will manufacture the vaccine. SII also plans to sell Novavax’s vaccine in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Novavax is on track to achieve its manufacturing capacity targets for Q3 and Q4. The company expects its manufacturing capacity to reach 100 million doses per month by the end of Q3 and 150 million doses per month by the end of the year.
The Bottom Line
Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Oxford-AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) have emerged as clear winners in the Covid-19 vaccine race. However, as a result of the emergence of new variants, there is a huge market for vaccines..
Under these circumstances, NVAX stock may very well pop in the next few weeks. Will it be a sustained rally? I don’t think so. In no way, shape, or form can the company compete with the likes of Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson. I believe the average owner of NVAX stock knows this and is just looking to make a quick profit.
Indeed, traders can come up with entry and exit trading strategies and keep on trading Novavax’s shares. Cantor Fitzgerald, B. Riley, and HC Wainwright all have price targets far above the current price of NVAX stock, indicating that retail traders can make some money on the name.
On the publication date, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience in analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.