In late 2018, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) went public in the largest biotech IPO in history. Its value barely moved until mid-February 2020, when COVID-19 cases in the U.S. started showing up in multiple states. Now that its coronavirus vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization, some investors might think there is limited upside left in the stock. That thinking might lead shareholders of Moderna to do the worst thing they could do right now.
Working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the company delivered a vaccine just 42 days after the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus was made public. Since then, the U.S. government has provided $4.1 billion to the company to get the drug to market, and will purchase 200 million doses of the vaccine with an option to buy 300 million more. Management’s base case is for 600 million of the doses to be available by the end of 2021.