Vaccine Race Tightens with BioNTech Candidate Still "On Track"

BNTX is already up 586% year-over-year

Digital Content Manager
Oct 15, 2020 at 10:14 AM
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With COVID-19 vaccine trials being put on hold left and right, at least one candidate remains on track. That is according to Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer of BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX), who said in an interview to Bloomberg that the late-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine the biotech company is developing with Pfizer (PFE) is moving forward. Sahin added that side effects are in line with those seen in earlier studies, and that they may be able to say whether the vaccine works as soon as this month, since late-stage trials were not stopped due to safety concerns. As a result, shares are up 2.4% at $88.92 at last check.

Over the last several months, the equity has experienced the volatile rollercoaster ride that is the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. The stock had two major rallies in March and July, and while shares hit an all-time-high of $105 on March 18, BNTX was ultimately not able to sustain those levels. The rally in July fell just short of that March peak.

Despite a jaw-dropping 586% year-over-year lead, analysts are mostly hesitant towards the security, with four of the seven in coverage carrying a tepid "hold," and the remaining three sporting a "strong buy." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus target price of $80.87 is an 6.9% discount to the stock's current perch.

The options pits lean more bullish, with calls popular. In the last 50 days, 18,145 calls have been exchanged, compared to just 7,224 puts. Yet, shorts have been building their positions, too. Short interest is up 30.1% in the last reporting period, with 6.66 million shares sold short.


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