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Can Novavax’s Huge Rally Continue? This 5-Star Analyst Sees ‘Only’ 25% Upside Ahead

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Can Novavax’s Huge Rally Continue? This 5-Star Analyst Sees ‘Only’ 25% Upside AheadAnyone following the market in 2020 will be aware of the massive gains made by biotechs fighting the coronavirus. For companies in search of a vaccine or treatment, valuations have soared dramatically, as investors have piled in on the hope one can bring a viable solution to market.Among those making headlines, vaccine specialist Novavax (NVAX) has earned its place as one of 2020’s star performers. Based on a 1,658% year-to-date increase, there’s no doubt regarding its success.Yet, Cantor analyst Charles Duncan argues there are more gains on the way. In fact, the 5-star analyst has just increased his price target for the vaccine player by almost 100%.In addition to reiterating an Overweight rating, the price target moves from $45 to $88. There’s upside of “only” 25%, should Duncan’s target be met over the next 12 months. (To watch Duncan’s track record, click here)Novavax is one of the companies developing an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, deeming its candidate NVX-CoV2373. However, the biotech was excluded from the list of five companies chosen to receive support as part of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program. Along with being further behind in development, a possible reason for the omission was the company’s lack of resources compared to pharma giants such as J&J, Merck and Pfizer. However, Duncan notes recent grants from the CEPI ($384 million in total) and $60 million from the DoD to fund the vaccine’s development, in addition to the sale of 4.4 million shares worth $200 million, have strengthened the balance sheet considerably as well as levelled the playing field.Furthermore, the recruitment of established biotech veterans for the roles of CMO and SVP of Corporate Affairs is another indication that Novavax can compete with more established names.Duncan said, “To us, this trilogy of events enhances our conviction in Novavax’s pipeline potential… As a result of the DoD and CEPI funding and logistical support, we believe that large-scale manufacturing capabilities are being put in place for NVXCoV2373. With assistance from these organizations, it is our belief that potential manufacturers have been identified and that, in conjunction with a tech transfer process that should not be overly complicated, the company can deliver a high quantity of vaccines.”The majority of the Street concurs. Novavax’s Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 5 Buys and 1 Hold. However, after soaring so high over the past few months, the average price target of $56 suggests possible downside of nearly 20% over the coming months. (See Novavax stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for biotech stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.


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