Investing

Pfizer and Moderna Stock Wrecked as Covid Vaccine Sales Dry Up

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While Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) was literally printing money during the Covid pandemic, those days are gone. Investors not only see shrinking sales, but they see the potential for a social and consumer backlash not unlike some other U.S. companies have faced over the past year.

Pfizer stock traded as high as $59 in December of 2021. On Friday, the shares closed trading at $30.65. That is a stunning 50% plunge from the high. In addition, the company announced recently it would cut some $9 billion from its revenue estimates, as sales of the Covid vaccine and the oral drug Paxlovid have plunged. (Here’s how bad Covid is right now in every state.)

Wall Street Very Negative

Of the 17 Wall Street firms we could find that are covering Pfizer stock, only six have Buy ratings. Meanwhile, 11 have Hold or Neutral ratings. We found no Sell ratings. That’s not surprising after the massive tumble the stock took.

Pfizer Stock Not the Only One in Trouble

Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) has also been pounded as sales have dried up. In September 2021, shares traded at $450. Friday’s close came in at just $80.40. Though the company has not cut estimates yet, it is expected to post a financial vaccine sales forecast next month. Until then, investors will hold their breath. (These are the youngest companies in the Fortune 500.)

Covid Booster Shots Are No Silver Lining

Despite health officials urging anyone six months and older to get a booster shot, a very skeptical public has been avoiding it, at least so far. According to a new survey, only one in four Americans are interested in yet another shot. Many fewer actually have gotten it.

Dismal Future Likely for Pfizer Stock

As we noted, Wall Street has not totally abandoned Pfizer stock. And the strong dividend and the big sell-off over the past year are keeping most analysts from going to a Sell rating. Yet, the future is not that bright. While the company has many other products, none will be the massive cash cow that the Covid vaccine was.

J.P. Morgan analyst Chris Schott said this last Friday when he reiterated the firm’s Neutral rating on Pfizer stock and dropped its $36 price target to $34:

We continue to expect shares to be range-bound. We see fairly limited downside from current levels, which is supported by the core business with earnings in the low ~$2 range today (by our math) and growing to ~$3 by 2030 (and overall earnings in the ~$3 range for 2024, increasing to ~$3.60 by 2030). At the same time, we see no clear path for shares to recover given continued uncertainty surrounding the company’s COVID franchise and pipeline. Remain Neutral.

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