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Will Omicron vaccine boost BioNTech's share price?

BioNTech’s [BNTX] share price has cratered in January. So far the stock is down over 43% for the month, as of Friday’s close. Aside from the wider rout being seen in the markets, BioNTech’s share price has plummeted after a study found that a fourth dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine was ineffective in stopping Omicron infections. The preliminary findings of the Israeli hospital study have yet to be published, but it adds to the debate that regular shots are unsustainable in the long-term.

Not only has the Israeli hospital study rocked investor confidence, but vaccine stocks had already been whacked in January thanks to the US Supreme Court blocking Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies with over 100 employees.

Does BioNTech’s drop suddenly make it a cheap stock investors can dip buy in anticipation of a resurgence, with potential tailwinds approaching?

 

What’s happening with BioNTech’s share price?

BioNTech’s share price dropped 5.77% on Friday to close the week at $147.5. But the truth is the stock  has been on the slide for some time. Since 29 November, the stock has fallen 59.31% as of Friday’s close, and is well off the intraday high of $459.88 the stock hit on 9 August 2021.

 

 

 

Headwinds for BioNTech’s share price

The selloff that followed the Supreme Court’s decision is likely a ‘sell-the-news situation’, at least that’s the view of BMO Capital Markets analyst David Seigerman as quoted by Barron’s.

Over the long-term, companies that solely rely on coronavirus vaccines for revenue - such as Moderna and Novavax - are likely to see volatility, while those with a more diversified portfolio of products should hold up better. Seigerman reckons that BioNTech’s partner Pfizer [PFE] should see peak COVID-related revenue this year and has raised his target from $60 to $76 on the pharmaceutical giant.

But BioNTech and other vaccine stocks have the same problem as the stay-at-home plays like Peloton [PTON] that surged during the pandemic - and  investors are now posing serious questions about the growth potential of these stocks that boomed during the pandemic.

Wall Street estimates might predict that BioNTech’s revenue for fiscal year 2021 might surge to $19bn, a mammoth jump from the $4.91bn in the previous year, but they also forecast that sales will slow almost 2.6% in 2022.

$19billion

BioNTech's total expected revenues for 2021, according to Wall Street estimates

 

 

Tailwinds for BioNTech’s share price

For BioNTech there are potential tailwinds. The most prominent being the promise of the Omicron-specific BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine which is planned for March. That could present an opportunity for investors to buy BioNTech’s share price on the cheap, assuming that the Omicron-specific arrives on time and is effective.

Another plus point is BioNTech expanding its offering outside of its COVID-19 vaccines. In January, the company announced a partnership with Crescendo Biologics to treat cancer patients and those with other diseases.

The biotech company will also work with Pfizer to develop a mRNA-based shingles vaccine, expanding on the success of their Covid-19 vaccine. Clinical trials are planned for the second half of 2022. BioNTech will receive $225m in upfront costs as part of a cash and equity investment from Pfizer, while also being eligible for further payments of up to $200m based on regulatory and sales milestones.

 

Where next?

Among the analysts tracking the stock on Yahoo Finance, BioNTech has a $319.12 price target - hitting this would see a massive 116% upside on Friday’s close. On 21 December, H.C. Wainwright analyst Robert Burns upped his price target from $360 to $366 after the European Commission ordered an additional $200m of BioNTech’s vaccine. At the time BioNTech’s share price closed at $271.46.

Whether the stock can withstand the substantial headwinds and general market pessimism right now remains to be seen.

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