(Bloomberg) — Moderna Inc. climbed to a record high amid growing concern about a more contagious variant of Covid-19 in nations including India, which cleared the import of its vaccine.
The shares rose 5.2% to close at $234.46 on Tuesday after Moderna said its vaccine produced protective antibodies against the delta variant, which emerged in India and has been spreading throughout the world. India’s drug regulator approved the import of the shots for restricted emergency use on Tuesday. The world’s second most-populous country trails richer nations with a little more than 4% of the population fully vaccinated, compared with almost half in the U.S.
Some analysts had expressed concern about Moderna’s recent surge, which has pushed the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s market value past $94 billion. Moderna continues to be driven by momentum, and today’s study results are “clearly showing good coverage of variants with their vaccine,” Michael Yee at Jefferies said in an email.
The emergency authorization in India as well as Sanofi’s plans to spend about $480 million to speed development of messenger-RNA vaccines, where Moderna has been spending billions per year, is also adding to today’s rally, he said.
He told clients last week that trading appears to have moved beyond the fundamentals of future vaccine sales. “I think there’s machines, I think there’s quants, I think there’s just buying of good charts,” he said. “It’s a momentum stock.”
Vaccine stocks like Moderna and BioNTech SE have surged over the past 12 months. Shares of BioNTech rallied almost 250% while Moderna gained nearly 280% during the period.
(Updates with closing prices throughout.)
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