Wall Street analysts are taking a far more pessimistic view of
as the stock tumbles after the German biotech reported disappointing results from a late-stage trial of a Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday.
In a note out Thursday, Guggenheim analyst Seamus Fernandez wrote that he now estimates a fair-value range for
(ticker: CVAC) shares of between $15 and $30 per share, down from his previous estimate of between $90 and $110.
That suggests that he still thinks the stock has a good distance left to fall, even after the 46.1% tumble it has seen since the market closed Wednesday, though Fernandez maintained his Neutral rating on the stock.
CureVac shares closed Wednesday at $94.79, and fell 9%, to $57.83, Thursday.
“This comes as a surprise to us,” Fernandez wrote. “We thought CVnCoV would at least be good enough, and outright failure is not something we accounted for in our original initiation.”
Bank of America analyst Geoff Meacham, meanwhile, downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, and set a $50 price target. Jefferies analyst Eun Yang, who maintained his Hold rating on the stock, cut his target price to $45 from $58, calling the data “disappointing.”
“This could cast doubt on the competitiveness of its mRNA platform,” the Jefferies analyst wrote..
The dimming hopes for CureVac came after the company reported that its Covid-19 vaccine, CVnCoV, demonstrated 47% efficacy in an interim analysis of a 40,000-subject trial, failing to meet the trial’s predetermined success criteria. The trial is ongoing, and the efficacy numbers are not final.
The company argued that the context of the trial was “unprecedented,” given the broad range of virus variants present at the time it was conducted. Still, the data was released days after
(NVAX) unveiled the results of its own Covid-19 vaccine trial, which was conducted over a similar period and which resulted in an overall efficacy figure of 90.4%.
CureVac’s vaccine is based on messenger RNA technology, like the vaccines sold by
(MRNA), and by
(PFE) and its partner
(BNTX). CureVac is one of a handful of longstanding pioneers in mRNA-based therapeutics and vaccines, alongside Moderna, BioNTech, and another firm called
(TBIO). Shares of Moderna were up 1.7% in premarket trading on Thursday, while shares of BioNTech were up 2%.
CureVac is also developing another mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine in partnership with
(GSK), known as CV2CoV, which CureVac refers to as a second-generation Covid-19 vaccine. In his Thursday note, Fernandez wrote that the company should shift focus to CV2CoV, and that he had removed sales of the first vaccine, CVnCoV, from his estimates.
Fernandez had previously projected sales of $1.5 billion this year, and $1.9 billion next year, for CVnCoV.
“We do think CVAC has a shot on goal with CV2CoV based on robust preclinical data, and we believe the technology platform has value, but a clearer clinical path amidst the increasingly saturated and competitive SARS-CoV-2 vaccines market is necessary,” Fernandez wrote. “With the removal of CVnCoV revenues but given that this is still a mRNA company with technology and a lot of capital, we’re assigning a fair value range of $15- $30 per share to CVAC.”
CureVac shares were up 16.9% so far this year as of the end of trading on Wednesday. The stock went public last August, and it has not seen prices as low as its current premarket price since last November.
CureVac didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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