Vaccine stocks are still worthy of close analysis in spite of the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is gradually reaching its end. Variants of the virus are popping up around the world. There is always a chance that the virus will continue to morph for months, years, or even decades, necessitating booster vaccine shots.
The companies that make coronavirus vaccines and booster vaccine shots have the potential to make a considerable amount of money while keeping the virus contained. These companies also have additional revenue drivers in the form of other vaccines. The question is which specific vaccine stocks are the best plays.
Sort through the entirety of the stocks that make vaccines, and you will find two, in particular, are especially intriguing. Below, we provide a look at whether Pfizer (PFE) or Novavax (NVAX) is the better play moving forward.
PFE is a solid value at its current trading price of $39.58. The stock has a forward P/E ratio of 10.71, meaning it is underpriced. The stock is currently trading about $4 below its 52-week high of $43.08. PFE’s 52-week low is $31.61. PFE has a low beta of 0.73, so it probably won’t prove very volatile.
PFE is even more attractive when you take a look at its POWR Ratings. PFE has an overall grade of A, meaning it has a Strong Buy rating in the POWR Ratings. PFE has grades of B in the Quality, Value, Growth, and Stability components. You can find out how PFE fares in the rest of the POWR Ratings components, such as Momentum and Sentiment, by clicking here.
Of the 230 publicly traded companies in the Medical – Pharmaceuticals industry, PFE is ranked 7th. You can find other top stocks in this industry by clicking here. PFE’s recent price returns are primarily green as the stock gained 15% over the past three months and 20% over the past year.
If the analysts are correct, PFE will move even higher from here. The average analyst target price for the stock is $42.57. If PFE reaches this target price, it will have increased by more than 9%. In fact, its target price has increased by $2.30 across the previous 50 weeks. Four analysts currently rate the stock a Buy, while another two rate it a Strong Buy.
NVAX is a vaccine innovator with its sights set on thwarting infectious diseases. NVAX also develops immune stimulation adjuvants to boost immune system responses. The company’s NanoFlu is a candidate to treat seasonal influenza.
NVAX has an overall grade of C, which translates into a Neutral rating in the POWR Ratings system. The stock has a B grade in the Value component and a C in the Quality component. It also has a grade of D in the Momentum and Growth components. You can find out how NVAX grades out in the Sentiment and Stability components by clicking here.
Of the nearly 500 stocks in the Biotech industry, NVAX is ranked 166th. Click here to find out top-ranked stocks in this industry.
Analysts are bullish on NVAX. If the analysts’ forecasts come true, NVAX will have increased by more than 40%, hitting the average analyst price target of $258. The stock’s highest target price is $294, while its lowest target price is $217. NVAX’s average price target has increased by nearly $70 across the past 140 days.
In the past 12 months, the stock’s average potential upside has been an impressive 48%. Of the half dozen analysts who have issued NVAX recommendations, one rates the stock as a Strong Buy, three rate it as a Buy, and two rate it as a Hold.
Which is the Better Buy?
PFE is clearly the better play. PFE has a superior rating in the POWR Ratings system, better individual component grades, and a higher industry rank.
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PFE shares were trading at $40.56 per share on Thursday afternoon, up $0.75 (+1.88%). Year-to-date, PFE has gained 12.48%, versus a 13.75% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
About the Author: Patrick Ryan
Patrick Ryan has more than a dozen years of investing experience with a focus on information technology, consumer and entertainment sectors. In addition to working for StockNews, Patrick has also written for Wealth Authority and Fallon Wealth Management. More...
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