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J&J Vaccine May Be Near OK, With Shots to Follow Soon After

Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine may get FDA clearance on Saturday, with the single-shot treatment available soon after.

Johnson & Johnson’s  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Report one-shot coronavirus vaccine could gain Food and Drug Administration clearance on Saturday, after a committee of independent medical experts review the drug on Friday.

The review is the last step before clearance from the FDA. The New Brunswick, N.J., health-care giant would join Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report, which in December received authorization to deploy their two-shot vaccines.

J&J has said it can deliver about 20 million doses of its vaccine in the U.S. by March 31.

Anticipation of approval hasn’t done much for J&J’s stock, similar to Pfizer, because the vaccine won’t move the needle much on its huge revenue -- $83 billion last year

J&J has said it won’t seek profit from the vaccine. In addition, the treatment may not be needed much beyond this year.

Shares of J&J recently traded at $160, off 1.7%. They'd climbed 13% in the year through Thursday, lagging the S&P 500’s gain of 25%. 

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Pfizer, the  New York health-care major, has risen 3% during that period.

Moderna, Cambridge, Mass., is the outlier, having quintupled in the past 12 months.

The company's revenue is much more heavily affected by vaccine sales. And the vaccine gives the formerly-little known company legitimacy in the market. Moderna’s revenue totaled $803 million in 2020.

Morningstar analyst Karen Andersen puts fair value at $158 for J&J stock.

“J&J's not-for-profit strategy for commercialization prevents [positive test] results from having any significant impact on our valuation of the firm,” she wrote Jan. 29.

“However, we do think that affordable vaccine pricing and the rapid development timelines for COVID-19 vaccines reduce potential pressure from more aggressive U.S. drug pricing policy reform under the Biden administration.”

At last check Pfizer shares were 0.8% lower at $33.56, while Moderna traded up 2.2% at $151.60.