COVID-19 vaccine: BioNTech, CureVac & Co: How investors can participate in the vaccine trend – and what they risk with it | message


?? Vaccine manufacturers are celebrated on the stock exchange
?? Investors have numerous options
?? Focus not without investor riskWhen it comes to vaccine development, there are currently positive developments on numerous fronts. More and more vaccine manufacturers are reporting successes, and hopes have risen that at least one of the vaccines will be approved in the foreseeable future and that the fight against the corona virus can then also be started on a medical basis.

Investors who want to benefit from this development would do well to look carefully when choosing their investments. Because the prospect of a life after and without Corona is not only euphoric to people worldwide, but also to the stock markets. And the great euphoria is not justified in all cases.

Invest in vaccine manufacturer stocks

Investing in vaccine manufacturer stocks is the best choice for investors looking to invest in companies that have made a name for themselves in vaccine research and who may soon be launching a drug to market.

In the meantime, some candidates are eligible. BioNTech, for example, the Mainz-based company that is now traded higher on the stock exchange than the traditional Fresenius group.

BioNTech worked on a vaccine with Pfizer and was the first company to present success stories. The common vaccine should offer 95 percent protection against COVID-19 – there should be almost no serious side effects. The hope that BioNTech will win the vaccine race is reflected in the share price development: a year ago the share cost around 20 US dollars, now it is well above the 100 US dollar mark.

The US biotech giant Moderna is also doing well. Most recently there was talk of the fact that the European Union could still be supplied with a vaccine in December – subject to approval. Moderna’s product should also get by without major side effects and, according to the company, offer 94.5 percent protection against COVID-19. Here, too, investors should keep an eye on the fact that the share price is already very hot. Around a year ago, Moderna shares were available for well below $ 20, but the price has now risen to $ 109.

The British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is now considered the third hope in the field of vaccine development. Unlike BioNTech and Moderna, which focused on mRNA preparations, the British have devoted themselves to traditional vaccine development and developed a vector vaccine in which the antigen itself is injected and not just the genetic information of the antigen, which the body then has to produce itself . According to preliminary study data, the AstraZeneca funds should protect 70 percent against the corona virus. In the case of the traditional pharmaceutical company, the investor reaction was significantly more restrained than in the case of the shares of BioNTech or Moderna. The AstraZeneca share only gained 3.4 percent within a year and thus lagged behind the broad market.

Novavax is also in the running for a COVID-19 vaccine, but will probably not have a corresponding product on the market until 2021. This shows the extent to which the principle of “hope” is traded: Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the Novavax share cost around 3 US dollars, and has since gained a whopping 2,600 percent. However, this development was anything but linear; instead, Novavax stocks have been extremely volatile, especially since summer 2020.

The celebrated T├╝bingen company CureVac has meanwhile been left behind a little in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, and the main owner and SAP founder Dietmar Hopp does not expect approval until spring or summer next year. But the T├╝bingen company scores in another way: With a low dosage. The newcomer to the stock exchange has made strong gains since the IPO. Investors who bought the issue price of 16 US dollars have now achieved a positive performance of more than 400 percent.

Invest in suppliers and partners

Market participants who want to invest in the topic away from the hot vaccine manufacturers can concentrate on partners and suppliers of the vaccine stocks, which in the slipstream of the vaccine researchers were also able to make substantial profits.

These include WACKER CHEMIE, who want to start production of the CureVac vaccine in the first half of 2021. The MDAX group was also able to grow strongly in the past year and has so far gained around 55 percent in value.

And the knowledge of the medical technology specialist Gerresheimer will also be in demand in connection with vaccine development. WACKER’s MDAX colleague produces pharmaceutical vials for medical products and will also be active as a supplier for COVID-19 vaccines in this context. Demand is likely to be high, after all, the vaccines have to be transported all over the world. On the stock exchange, this is rewarded with a price increase of around 40 percent within one year.

The storage of the vaccine will also increasingly come into focus in the future – a business area that plays a major role at va-Q-tec. The company manufactures transport containers that can withstand extreme temperatures. This is important because the vaccines sometimes have to be cooled significantly – during transport and also during storage, until they are finally used. Stock exchange traders have also recognized the market opportunities that the business model opens up for va-Q-tec – within one year the share has risen 240 percent.

Test manufacturer under the microscope

Aside from companies that develop, produce or sell the necessary accessories for vaccines, investors should also keep a closer eye on manufacturers of corona test kits. Because until there is a basic immunization of the population – whether through infection with the virus or broad-based vaccination measures – it will remain important to reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Listed companies that have COVID-19 tests in their repertoire include the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, the biotech group QIAGEN and Marburg-based NanoRepro AG. Here, investors have recently rated the market opportunities differently: While Roche lost 1.9 percent on the Swiss stock exchange in the last twelve months, QIAGEN rose around 11 percent on the NYSE over the same period. In the meantime, the NanoRepro share has exploded: the share has risen a full 360 percent since November 2019.

Risks to Investors

The recent good news from the vaccine front has fueled the vaccine rally and raised tremendous hopes among investors. Every announcement that could be interpreted positively was celebrated frenetically in the market, FOMO – the fear of missing out on something – has taken hold of many investors and driven the shares of many vaccine manufacturers to valuation levels that are well worth discussing. The advance of trading apps like Robinhood, which want to make it as easy as possible for market participants to invest in stocks quickly and easily, also contributed to this. In particular, newcomers to the stock exchange such as CureVac and BioNTech, who are severely restricted in their product pipeline, were given massive advance praise, while stocks from established (pharmaceutical) companies, which can look back on a successful operating history and whose product range is much broader, mostly do Had lost.

The euphoria in the market, which investors lived out especially in the growth stocks in the industry, is reminiscent of the rally in tech stocks in the USA, where valuation levels were sometimes absurd in the past, but where market dominators worth billions have also emerged.

Hopes in the vaccine area are now similar: Investors are hoping that the small biotech companies can outrun the large and cumbersome pharmaceutical giants when it comes to vaccines and possibly take over the market completely. In addition, given that the corona pandemic is raging around the world, there will likely be room for more than one vaccine.

Not all will make it

On the other hand, numerous vaccines will probably not make it to market maturity or, in view of increasing market penetration, may not even be able to recoup their costs. This will inevitably be reflected in the stock valuation. Market participants who then bet “on the wrong horse” are left behind.

And even if a manufacturer could clearly set itself apart from the competition, it shouldn’t be too long before there is a copycat vaccine that can possibly be produced more cheaply. Even then, the high rating levels can only be justified if there is more than one product that – in addition to the coronavirus vaccine – proves to be sustainable. Stockbrokers who, against this background, bring more than one vaccine manufacturer into their depot, expose themselves to an unnecessary cluster risk if they have not appropriately diversified their portfolio in another way. By investing in partners and suppliers, for example, who have a broad customer base and who will still do good business after Corona. Or by choosing an ETF that can also reduce the risk. editorial team


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