Amid rising COVID-19 cases due to the virus’ highly contagious Delta variant, the government has been urging citizens to get vaccinated. In addition, because the seven-day average of COVID cases has surpassed the peak seen last summer, some states and local administrations are offering incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated pronto.
According to reports, most unvaccinated people have lately been contracting severe COVID-19 infections. Due to the concerns surrounding the new strain, the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the U.S. has risen by 26% versus three weeks ago. As such, COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers are all set to cash in on the opportunity with inoculation kicking into high gear in the coming months.
Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and AstraZeneca Plc (AZN), which are among the few major companies currently offering COVID-19 vaccines, are expected to deliver excellent returns this year and beyond as demand for vaccines continues to soar.
Pfizer Inc. (PFE)
PFE is a biopharmaceutical company that researches, develops, and produces healthcare products. Pfizer innovative health (PH) and Pfizer Essential Health (EH) are the two business segments through which the company operates. The New York City-based company is known primarily for its COVID-19 vaccine under the Prevnar 13/Prevenar 13 (pediatric/adult) and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine brands.
In July, PFE and BioNTech SE announced that the U.S. government had purchased an additional 200 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, bringing the total number of doses to 500 million under the existing supply agreement to the U.S. government. These doses are planned to be delivered between October 2021 and April 2022.
During the second quarter, ended June 30, 2021, PFE’s revenue increased 92.4% year-over-year to $18.98 billion. The company’s net income increased 59.5% year-over-year to $5.56 billion, while its EPS grew 58.1% from the prior-year quarter to $0.98. Its revenues under its oncology segment increased 18.8% year-over-year to $3.15 billion over this period.
PFE is expected to generate 73.7% revenue growth for the current year. Its EPS is estimated to increase 66.7% year-over-year to $3.7 in 2021. Over the past year, PFE’s stock price has gained 19.1%. Furthermore, the stock has returned 24.1% year-to-date.
PFE’s POWR Ratings reflect this promising outlook. The company has an overall A rating, which translates to a Strong Buy in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 different factors, each with its own weighting.
PFE has also received a B grade for Value, Growth, and Sentiment. In addition, , within the Medical-Pharmaceuticals industry, it is ranked #6 of 220 stocks.
To see additional POWR Ratings for Momentum, Quality, and Stability for PFE, click here.
Note that PFE is one of the few stocks handpicked by our Chief Growth Strategist, Jaimini Desai, currently in the POWR Growth portfolio. Learn more here.
AstraZeneca Plc (AZN)
AZN is a global pharmaceutical company that develops, produces, and markets prescription medications in oncology, cardiovascular, renal and metabolism, respiratory, infection, neuroscience, and gastroenterology. Recently, the London-based company has gained popularity for its COVID-19 vaccines sold under the brand names Covishield and Vaxzevria.
Last month, reports published by the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), with support from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, demonstrated that one dose of AZN’s Vaxzevria was 82% effective against hospitalization or death caused by the Beta/Gamma variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This finding should bode well for the stock in the near term.
During the second quarter, ended June 30, 2021, AZN’s total revenue increased 31% year-over-year to $8.22 billion. Its gross profit surged 14% year-over-year to $6.03 billion, while its cash and cash equivalents grew 174.4% from the prior-year quarter to $15.57 billion. The company’s net income came in at $550 million over this period.
A $3.33 consensus EPS estimate for the next year represents a 65.7% improvement year-over-year. The $32.4 billion consensus revenue estimate for the current year represents a 21.7% increase from the same period last year. The stock’s price has gained 15.3% year-to-date and 11.5% over the past nine months.
AZN’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall B rating, which equates to Buy in our POWR Ratings system. The stock also has a B grade for Growth, Quality, and Stability. In the Medical-Pharmaceuticals industry, it is ranked #14 of 220 stocks.
In total, we rate AZN on eight different levels. Beyond what we’ve stated above, we have also given AZN grades for Value, Sentiment, and Momentum. Get all the AZN ratings here.
AZN is one of the stocks currently in the POWR Charts trading alert service based upon Christian Tharp’s 5 WINNING Stock Chart Patterns)
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PFE shares were trading at $45.63 per share on Wednesday afternoon, down $0.05 (-0.11%). Year-to-date, PFE has gained 27.69%, versus a 18.26% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Pragya Pandey
Pragya is an equity research analyst and financial journalist with a passion for investing. In college she majored in finance and is currently pursuing the CFA program and is a Level II candidate. More...
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