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Vaccine Stocks Checkup: Johnson & Johnson Is Rising

See the latest news for the top companies producing COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna, Sanofi, AstraZeneca and more.

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings and boosted its full-year earnings forecast as sales from medical devices and pharmaceuticals recorded solid post-pandemic gains. Vaccine sales, Johnson & Johnson said, reached $100 million

The company said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in March came in at $2.59 cents per share, up 12.6% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $2.34 per share. Group revenues, Johnson & Johnson said, rose 7.9% to $22.3 billion, again besting analysts' estimates of a $22 billion tally.

Johnson & Johnson said Monday that it remains committed to delivering 100 million doses of its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to the U.S. government by the end of May. 

The Food & Drug Administration recently asked Emergent BioSolutions  (EBS) - Get Emergent Biosolutions Inc. Report to stop manufacturing ingredients for the vaccine at its Baltimore factory after a mix-up at the Bayview plant earlier this month that may have affected some 15 million doses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration suspended the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine last  week out of an abundance of caution due to a rare blood-clotting side effect.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical advisor, told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he expects the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be resumed later this week "likely with some sort of warning or restriction or assessment."

The suspension “will not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan: Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes up less than 5% of the recorded shots in arms in the U.S. to date,” Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said in a statement.

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Here is a list of the vaccine stocks to watch and their performance from the past week by percentage change as of the close of trading on Monday, Apr. 19:

Pfizer | +5.10% 5 Day

Pfizer's  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report CEO Albert Bourla says the company has ramped up production of its COVID-19 vaccine and can deliver 10% more doses to the U.S. than previously agreed by the end of May.

Bourla also told CNBC that people taking the drug giant’s COVID vaccine will “likely” need a third dose of it within a year after the second one.

Bourla said in a tweet that the company now expects to deliver 220 million doses of the vaccine it developed jointly with BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report by the end of next month, and all 300 million doses agreed on two weeks early, in July.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Pfizer as a Hold with a rating score of C+.

Moderna | +16.33% 5 Day

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report and Pfizer reportedly declined to form an alliance with Johnson & Johnson to address concerns about a rare blood-clotting disorder among recipients of coronavirus vaccines, according to a media report.

The company says it will reduce the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses it delivers to the U.K. and Canada, starting in April. “The trajectory of vaccine manufacturing ramp-up is not linear, and despite best efforts, there is a shortfall in previously estimated doses,” Moderna said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. 

Shares of Moderna have been climbing this past week after the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a follow-up study including a sample size of 33 people who received the drugmaker's COVID-19 vaccine in early trials show the antibodies it induced are still present six months after the second dose.

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TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Moderna as a Hold with a rating score of C.

Johnson & Johnson | +0.75% 5 Day

Johnson & Johnson  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report has been making headlines lately due to its COVID-19 vaccine and shares have been falling. 

However, the company's shares were marked 2.6% higher in afternoon trading Tuesday following the earnings release to change hands at $166.86 each, nudging its six-month gain to around 15.6%.

Johnson & Johnson sees reported sales between $90.6 billion and $91.6 billion this year following a stronger-than-expected first quarter that included a 5% dividend boost.

The company's vaccine has run into a hurdle due to a clotting issue. Specifically, after almost 7 million doses, six people reportedly were "found to have developed a rare blood clot issue within two weeks" following J&J’s vaccine.

On Tuesday afternoon, J&J also announced that the European Medicines Agency Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) had given updated guidance about its vaccine related to the rare blood clotting issue. The committee confirmed that the overall benefit-risk profile remains positive, J&J said, and as a result, the company will resume shipment of its vaccine in the European Union, Norway and Iceland. 

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Johnson & Johnson as a Buy with a rating score of B+.

AstraZeneca | +4.35% 5 Day

AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get AstraZeneca PLC Report is one step closer to acquiring Alexion Pharmaceuticals  (ALXN) - Get Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report, having been cleared by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission after an antitrust review, the company said. AstraZeneca in December agreed to pay $175 a share.

The Cambridge, U.K., pharmaceutical and biotechnology company said the U.S. clearance follows competition clearances in Canada, Brazil, Russia, and other countries globally.

The deal is valued at $39 billion. AstraZeneca expects to close the acquisition in the third quarter. Alexion holders will own around 15% of AstraZeneca's shares outstanding when the deal closes.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates AstraZeneca as a Buy with a rating score of B.

Novavax | +26.34% 5 Day

Shares of vaccine maker Novavax  (NVAX) - Get Novavax Inc. Report were climbing after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were suspending the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine.

Novavax previously suffered a setback late last month after a report said the drugmaker was delaying signing a contract to supply its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU due to production issues.

The biotechnology company this past week announced its participation in a newly expanded, investigator-initiated clinical trial to be conducted by the University of Oxford and supported by the UK Vaccines Taskforce. Its recombinant protein vaccine candidate is one of four COVID-19 vaccines that will be studied to evaluate the potential for combined regimens that mix vaccines from different manufacturers to achieve immunity protection against COVID-19.

Novavax announced the promotion of Gale E. Smith, Ph.D. to Senior Vice President, Discovery and Pre-Clinical Research and Chief Scientist, and the appointment of Troy Morgan as Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer. The company also announced that Greg Covino will be stepping down as Chief Financial Officer and will take on a new role as executive adviser to the company.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Novavax as a Sell with a rating score of D.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals | +6.98% 5 Day

Inovio Pharmaceuticals  (INO) - Get Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. Report shares were climbing this past week, spurred by encouraging vaccine candidate results and the recent pause of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

Inovio said the results of a new study showed its COVID-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800 was capable of producing neutralizing antibodies and T-cell responses against the U.K., South African, and Brazilian variant strains.

The company said in a statement that INO-4800 "induced a robust T cell response" against all spike protein variants tested.

Last month, Inovio reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Inovio as a Sell with a rating score of D-.

BioNTech | +22.57% 5 Day

BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report and Pfizer announced that they will supply an additional 100 million doses of the companies' COVID-19 vaccine to the 27 European Union member states.

This announcement is a result of the European Commission's decision to exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its expanded Advanced Purchase Agreement signed in February. 

This brings the total number of doses to be delivered to the EU to 600 million.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates BioNTech as a Hold with a rating score of C.

Sanofi | +3.24% 5 Day

Sanofi  (SNY) - Get Sanofi Report and Translate Bio have begun trials for their vaccine candidate earlier this month. This comes after announcing a restart to its trials with GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) - Get GSK plc American Depositary Shares (Each representing two) Report in late February.

Sanofi will pay Translate Bio $25 million on the achievement of the milestone, they said. The drug is being developed under a collaboration and license agreement between the two companies.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Sanofi as a Buy with a rating score of B.

CureVac | +21.07% 5 Day

CureVac  (CVAC) - Get CureVac N.V. Report stocks rose this past week after the announcement of Johnson & Johnson pausing its vaccine production. It reported a fourth-quarter loss and beat analysts' revenue expectations.

The German drugmaker, which went public last year, said it has seen the number of requests for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine increase recently.

CureVac said in a statement this past week that it would start testing CVnCoV, its COVID-19 vaccine, on adolescents as young as 12 at the end of the month, as it gets ready to publish initial efficacy results for adults in the second quarter.

The European Union in November secured up to 405 million doses of CureVac’s two-shot vaccine, Reuters reported, which has yet to win regulatory approval, the company’s only large supply contract so far.

In January, CureVac agreed to develop next-generation COVID vaccines with GlaxoSmithKline, which took a 10% stake in CureVac last year.

TheStreet Quant Ratings has no rating for CureVac.

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