MRNA Pulls Back from Highs Despite Plans to Up Vaccine Doses

The equity sports an over 739% year-over-year lead, though

Digital Content Manager
Feb 1, 2021 at 10:35 AM
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The shares of Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) are lower this morning, last seen down 4.5% at $165.34, despite reports that the biopharmaceutical concern is attempting to get authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to raise the number of doses in its Covid-19 vaccine vials to 15 from 10. The firm also received a pair of price-target hikes earlier today from Oppenheimer and SVB Leerink, to $206 and $80, respectively.

Digging deeper, the security has been tearing up the charts since cooling off from its early December peak, bouncing off the supportive 60-day moving average to score a Jan. 29 all-time high of $185.98. Year-over-year, MRNA sports an impressive 739.7% lead.

Analysts were mostly pessimistic towards the equity coming into today. Of the 14 in question, eight carried a tepid "hold" or worse rating, while six said "strong buy." Plus, the 12-month consensus target price of $148.92 is a 14% discount to current levels.

Shorts are building their positions, too. Short interest rose roughly 6% in the most recent reporting period, and now the 24.80 million shares sold short account for a significant 7.6% of the stock's available float, or over a days' worth of pent-up buying power.

The options pits echo that pessimism, with puts popular. This is per Moderna stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which sits higher than 93% of readings from the past year. This means puts are being picked up at a quicker-than-usual pace.

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