Is Moderna’s vaccine breakthrough really worth $100bn?
The company’s hugely successful Covid shot sent the stock sky-high, but its hefty valuation comes with some big risks
Just 18 months ago, Moderna was an early-stage biotechnology company working on a new way of making vaccines worth $6.5bn (R92.5bn). Today, after it developed and delivered one of the fastest-arriving and most effective shots against Covid-19, Moderna’s market value is approaching $100bn (R1.423-trillion).
Some of the stock’s 1,000% gain is undoubtedly warranted. Wall Street analysts expect Moderna’s vaccine, which uses new messenger-RNA technology, to net a historic $17.6bn (R251bn) in revenue this year. But the company’s valuation is now in the same league as drugmakers that, unlike Moderna with its one vaccine, have multiple marketed medicines. Holding the stock at this level requires some assumptions about the future of the pandemic and a heroic tolerance for concentration of risk...