Updated at 1:11 pm EST
Novavax Inc. (NVAX) shares moved sharply lower Thursday after analysts at JPMorgan lowered their rating and price target on the drugmaker following its decision to slash near-term sales forecasts.
JPMorgan analyst Eric Joseph cut his rating on the stock to 'underweight', from 'neutral', while slashing his price target by more than $100, to $27 per share, citing weak near-term Covid vaccine demand.
Last month, Novavax pruned its full-year revenue forecast and warned that it doesn't expect to sell any more of its Covid vaccines in the United States this year following a wider-than-expected third quarter loss of $6.53 per share.
“Despite the weak second-quarter print and downward revenue guidance revision, our read of the recent vaccine dynamic in the EU and U.S. would suggest further guidance cuts are in the offing," Joseph said in his downgrade note. "While also pointing to mid- and longer-term headwinds to meaningful Nuvaxovid uptake."
Novavax shares were marked 13.3% lower in early afternoon trading Thursday to change hands at $22.44 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date decline to around 84.3%.
Novavax halved its 2022 sales forecast to between $2 billion and $2.3 billion, citing the late entry of its Covid vaccine to a glutted domestic market, adding it doesn't expect a new order this year from the World Health Organization-backed COVAX facility, as government buyers work through supply purchased earlier in the year.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended granting Emergency Use Authorization for the group's Covid vaccine -- known as NVX-CoV2373 -- to patients over the age of eighteen in early June, adding to previous authorizations given to Pfizer (PFE) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Moderna (MRNA) .
Pfizer, in fact, said sales of both its Comirnaty vaccine and Paxlovid oral treatment should combine for around $54 billion this year.