Moderna Stock Moves Lower After Japan Suspends Shots

Two deaths were linked to the contaminated doses

Digital Content Manager
Aug 30, 2021 at 10:30 AM
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The shares of Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) are down roughly 2% to trade at $374.58 this morning, after the pharmaceutical company said Japan suspended another 1 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the total of withdrawn shots up to 2.6 million. The move comes after foreign substances were identified in its vaccine, and two deaths were linked to the contaminated shots. 

Digging deeper, Moderna stock has pulled back somewhat dramatically from its Aug. 10, all-time high of $497.49. The shares have been struggling with overhead pressure at the $410 mark in recent weeks, though the $360 level seems poised to contain today's pullback. Year-over-year, though, MRNA  boasts an impressive 456.7% lead.

Despite the gains in the last 18 months, analysts are quite bearish towards Moderna stock. Of the 14 in question, 10 carry a tepid "hold" or worse rating, while the 12-month consensus target price of $286.15 is a whopping 24.% discount to the equity's current levels.

Shorts are celebrating today's trough. Short interest rose 37.8% in the last two reporting periods, and the 18.81 million shares sold short now make up 5.2% of MRNA's available float. 

Moderna stock has exceeded option traders' volatility expectations during the past year -- a good thing for options buyers. This is per the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS), which sits at an elevated 92 out of a possible 100. 

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