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Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) emerged as one of the hottest stocks in the early days of the pandemic. It gained 520% over 12 months as vaccines rolled out.
The price has soared to a whopping high of $413 in the last year. But some analysts think it could be overpriced, even despite new booster shots on the way.
The Biden administration announced new boosters for decreased immunity over time. Initially, that seems like new revenue, but the Moderna stock forecast for 2025 raises debate over whether shares are already priced for boosters.
With so much mystery around the future of COVID-19, you will see a wide range of opinions on this one.
One JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) analyst wrote that it's "saving the world even though valued like saving the universe." They think the stock could lose half its value over the next year. Others including Bank of America, Piper Sandler, and Oppenheimer have downgraded Moderna.
Really, Wall Street often has a habit of missing the field for the trees.
If the pandemic persists and it can produce the same quality at the same pace as its first vax, the stock may still have plenty upside.
But the COVID-19 vaccine might only play a small role in Moderna's future success...
Why MRNA over Other Vaccine Stocks?
For starters, Moderna and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) are the only companies involved in the Biden administration's new rollout plan. Limited competition is always good news for a stock.
It's what made Moderna one of the best stocks to buy from the beginning.
The company was further along in its mRNA research than about every other biotech vaccine maker. And its focus on that enabled quick and effective vaccine distribution.
A short 63 days after the virus' genetic sequence was published, Moderna was on the short list of companies with a vaccine. Only Pfizer-BioNTech beat it by a week as the first company to go public with one.
Still, investors preferred Moderna. Its stock is up 466% year over year, compared to Pfizer's 36.6% bump and BioNTech's 415.88% increase.
This is important as the United States approaches a second wave of vaccine distribution. Moderna has sent vaccines internationally and through the United States. However, with news of the Biden administration's booster plan, investors will be revisiting vaccine stocks - and the public has already proven partial to MRNA.
On top of developing additional vaccine candidates, Moderna has locked down a contract to deliver $12 billion worth of COVID-19 vaccines in 2022. The contract includes options for clients to purchase more doses worth roughly $8 billion, totaling $20 billion for Moderna.
But, again, the COVID-19 vaccine is not even the only thing going for Moderna stock...
This Is More Than "Just a COVID-19 Vaccine Stock"
While it seems as if MRNA may be a "one-hit wonder" stock, it's anything but.
The company has been busy researching and developing messenger RNA technology since its founding in 2010. Messenger RNA (mRNA) basically tricks cells into creating proteins that look as if they've been infected by something that a virus uses to infect cells.
The last eight years of research positioned the company to succeed amid the vaccine race - mRNA vaccines are much easier to mass produce.
However, this focus on mRNA is another reason Moderna is a more appealing stock than its competitors. The company has been developing vaccines for HIV and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The latter, especially dangerous to infants, toddlers, and the elderly, has made a comeback as societies reopen, even showing up out of season.
Beyond its vaccine development, Moderna is also working to develop 13 different mRNA treatments. Five of them aim to combat cancer and two autoimmune therapies. They are currently going through clinical trials.
This company has the kind of pipeline that could generate multi-billions in sales over the next decade and beyond.
Moderna Stock Forecast 2025
Money Morning Defense and Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson gave some conservative projections on Moderna, with per-share profits averaging 25%. At that rate, earnings will double in about 33 months.
That doesn't even account for another Moderna breakthrough in trials or lines of research.
Creativity in biotech research has boomed internationally, with the United States at the forefront.
It's wheeling out life-saving vaccines in record time. And it's developing other game-changing tech breakthroughs.
Moderna has more than enough potential to become a titan in the industry, already making waves.
Yes, the stock has run up quickly, so you naturally expect a dip. But the dip will not last long.
MRNA technology could play a much bigger role in the future of medicine than it does today. That's why WalletInvestor gives Moderna stock a target $710 target by 2025.
That's a solid 71% gain.
About the Author
Mike Stenger, Associate Editor for Money Morning at Money Map Press, graduated from the Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University. He has combined his degree in Economics with an interest in emerging technologies by finding where tech and finance overlap. Today, he studies the cybersecurity sector, AI, streaming, and the Cloud.