NVAX Soars on Coronavirus Vaccine Deal with U.S. Government

The equity is up an unheard of 2,664.3% year-to-date

Digital Content Manager
Jul 7, 2020 at 11:38 AM
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The shares of Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) are up 24.2% at $98.72 this morning, after the U.S. government awarded the drug development company $1.6 billion to cover testing, commercialization, and manufacturing of a potential coronavirus vaccine. The investment is part of a White House program that seeks to accelerate access to COVID-19 treatments, and deliver 100 million vaccines by January 2021. 

The race for a coronavirus treatment has lifted NVAX up on the charts. Though shares have been on the rise since May, today's news boosted the equity to a nearly four-year high of $111.77. The stock's 10-day moving average has served as support over the past few weeks, containing most of NVAX's pullbacks late last week. Longer term, the equity is performing incredibly well, and sports a jaw-dropping 2,378.2% lead this year. 

Analysts were mostly optimistic toward NVAX, with five of the seven in coverage sporting a "strong buy," and only two carrying a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target of $86.25 is a significant 12.34% discount to current levels, meaning price-target hikes could be on the horizon. Short sellers are coming in droves, however. Short interest is up 10.2% in the last two reporting periods, and the 8.11 million shares sold short make up a hefty 34.5% of NVAX's available float.

That sentiment is echoed in the options pits, where the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) comes in at 1.17. This ranks in the 94th percentile of readings from the past year -- highlighting a strong appetite for puts over calls among short-term speculators.

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