Covid-19 Vaccine Dose Delay Spells Even More Trouble for Novavax Stock

More than a year after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, some of those who have invested in Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock are undoubtedly frustrated.

Novavax (NVAX) logo surrounded by medical supplies
Source: Ascannio/Shutterstock.com

NVAX stock has been directionless in 2021 so far, and this makes it difficult for the shareholders to stay the course.

Granted, the global battle against Covid-19 has been renewed lately due to the spread of the Delta variant. So, it’s understandable if you’re considering investing in Novavax.

On the other hand, we have to be realistic. There are already multiple Covid-19 vaccines out there. It’s already a crowded, competitive field and Novavax doesn’t have the first-mover advantage.

Plus, there’s a major development that doesn’t bode well for Novavax’s attempt to expand its operations internationally. Therefore, a wait-and-see strategy might be the best option right now.

A Closer Look at NVAX Stock

Back in March of 2020, while so many stocks were collapsing, NVAX stock held up quite well. Of course, that’s when vaccine makers were thrust into the spotlight.

It only took a few months for the stock to shoot up from $10 to $100. Astoundingly, on Feb. 8, 2021, the share price reached a 52-week high of $331.68.

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but chasing stocks after a 30x price move isn’t my favorite strategy. NVAX stock is a perfect illustration of what can happen to the chasers.

After topping out in February, the Novavax share price chopped around aimlessly over the ensuing months. The overall trend was to the downside, however.

NVAX stock is trading at around $179, andNovavax’s trailing 12-month earnings per share stands at around -$9.51.

That’s not deeply negative for a $179 stock, but the investors will definitely want to see that number turn positive sooner rather than later.

I Got It Wrong

Okay, I’ll admit it. In January, I was massively bullish on Novavax because the company was “heavily involved in the international distribution effort.”

What I didn’t count on was a disruption of the supply chain. There are many moving parts when it comes to getting a vaccine into the hands of the people, and failure is always a possibility.

By now, Novavax’s stakeholders should be accustomed to disappointment.

As you may recall, in November of last year, the company announced that its “late-stage” U.S. Covid-19 vaccine trial would be delayed.

In January of 2021, however, there was good news as Novavax finalized an Advance Purchase Agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia to supply 51 million doses.

At the time, the outlook seemed bright. What could possibly go wrong?

If you ever find yourself asking that question, it’s probably time to hedge your bets.

A Delay in the Timeline

July 26 wasn’t a great day for NVAX stockholders.

In Australia, 51 million doses of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine were originally supposed to arrive in the second half of this year.

Now, however, the vaccine rollout isn’t expected until sometime in 2022.

Apparently, Novavax has yet to supply the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration with enough information for approval for the company’s protein-based Covid-19 vaccine.

Furthermore, Novavax has reported that supply-related issues have posed a significant hindrance to the global supply of its vaccine.

These supply problems reportedly include the availability (of lack thereof) of plastic bags.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s John Skerritt succinctly stated that the Australian regulator still doesn’t “have complete information on the manufacturing.”

Moreover, the timeline for approval seems hazy now as it would “ultimately depend on when the complete data package is provided by Novavax to enable the required regulatory processes,” according to a spokesperson for federal department of health.

The Bottom Line

Don’t get the wrong idea here. The situation isn’t hopeless for Novavax, or for the company’s stakeholders.

Still, it’s a frustrating situation overall.

NVAX stock needs to choose a definite direction, and the company has to overcome its supply issues. Otherwise, the investors could lose interest quickly.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


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