Daily Stock Pick for May 18, 2023

Theoretically, Covid-19 is still rather prevalent. But the truth is – no one cares anymore. The virus has evolved into a more virulent but much less dangerous strain, and impressive vaccination rates worldwide have also helped.

Governments have realized the economic costs of restrictions are no longer worth it. Most of the world is now “open” – and the pandemic-era restrictions are quickly becoming a distant memory.

Today’s stock is a company that became extremely well-known during the pandemic – but just like the pandemic itself, has been quickly fading from memory. And that has been reflected in the stock price, which has been taking a beating.
Yet, there is a very good case to be made that this stock is being severely undervalued. Its recent earnings were a positive surprise – and its management expects more good things to come. Plus, the company could be about to release a host of new products that could send it surging into the limelight once more.

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA)

Moderna currently only has one (yes, just one) product – its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that its stock has taken a beating. It’s now trading at just a third of where it was at the height of the pandemic.

But this could also be an opportunity. Because the real value in Moderna is not the Covid vaccine itself per se – but the mRNA technology that underpins it.

The company has been testing its mRNA technology to create vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is one of the causes of the common cold. According to the National Institutes of Health, RSV affects an estimated 64 million people worldwide – making it a lucrative market opportunity.

Moderna expects its group of respiratory vaccines to deliver annual sales of between $8–15 billion by 2027.

And that’s not all, Moderna is also using its mRNA technology to develop personalized cancer vaccines (in conjunction with Merck) – vaccines that could “target” each patient’s own tumor cells. Early trials on melanoma patients have been promising (it is now in phase 2 trials), which is why it already has obtained breakthrough therapy designation in the US and a similar status in Europe.

Now, let’s be clear – Moderna is not a stock for those looking to make quick gains in the next few months. The stock has largely been trading sideways, and it’ll take time for major catalysts to appear that could cause a jump in its stock price.

But if you’re looking for a “post-pandemic” stock that is cheaper than it’s ever been – with very real catalysts on the horizon – this one stock to strongly consider.