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Why Moderna Stock Is Hitting Another Record High Today

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© Provided by The Motley Fool Why Moderna Stock Is Hitting Another Record High Today

What happened

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) were jumping 4.3% as of 11:10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, hitting another record high for the stock. The bump came after Michael Yee, an analyst at Jefferies, increased his price target on the stock from $170 to $250.

Also, Dr. Marco Cavaleri, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) head of biological health threats and vaccines strategy, stated in a press conference that a committee would likely finalize a decision on recommending authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in children by the end of next week.

So what

Jefferies’ higher price target for the vaccine stock reflected expectations of increased sales for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine this year. Yee now looks for the company to up its full-year revenue guidance to $21 billion. It previously projected sales of $19.2 billion.

© Getty Images A vial labeled COVID-19 vaccine toppled over next to a syringe and a vaccine vial standing upright with a dollar sign in it.

The EMA’s decision on authorization of the vaccine in immunizing children ages 12 to 17 could play a key role in driving higher sales. Although there are many more adults in the European Union than children, the pediatric market presents a big opportunity for the company.

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Neither of these news items, however, were compelling reasons for Moderna’s shares to move higher. Jefferies’ price target is actually lower than its current share price. Also, Cavaleri’s comments about the pending decision by an expert committee didn’t provide any hints as to what the recommendation would be.

Now what

The most important thing to watch with Moderna in the near term isn’t the EMA committee announcement next week. Instead, it’s the company’s second-quarter update scheduled for Aug. 5. Moderna is likely to boost its full-year sales outlook in that update. 

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Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Jefferies Financial Group Inc. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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