The Amazing Vaccine Race
Today, we’re talking about vaccines!
Particularly, we’re spotlighting Novavax Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) and its $1.6 billion award from the U.S. government. It truly is a major award … the biggest one yet to come from the White House’s Operation Warp Speed initiative.
(I still think that should be our time travel project’s code name, but whatever.)
So, where does that $1.6 billion go? To pay for phase 3 testing, making and bringing Novavax’s vaccine to the market.
Similar awards, though far less robust, went to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Moderna Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: INO) and current COVID-19 vaccine front-runner AstraZeneca Plc. (NYSE: AZN).
At first, I wanted to give you a rundown of all the companies working on a coronavirus vaccine. Yes, I get overly ambitious at times, especially since everyone … and I mean everyone … is working on a vaccine. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if my grandmother was working on a vaccine between knitting and making cobbler.
For investment ideas, we have to narrow the field down considerably. For instance, biotech’s big boys — Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca — all have massive drug portfolios that dilute your investment dollar when it comes to a COVID-19 cure.
From those four, only AstraZeneca is worth taking seriously if you’re looking to invest in a potential cure. No other biotech has a vaccine in phase 3 testing right now!
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the small fry: Moderna, Invovio and Novavax.
Trimming this herd takes no time. Moderna has never made a vaccine before, and it shows. The company’s phase 2 vaccine testing has been delayed due to disagreements with government scientists and testing regulations.
Inovio, meanwhile, recently released phase 1 clinical trial data, but it didn’t disclose any information on the study participants’ antibody response. Every other vaccine maker crowed about their own successes in antibody response, so this lack of info does not bode well for investing in Inovio.
Bada bing, we’re left with Novavax and its $1.6 billion government award. Now, we’ve already seen the rise and fall of INO and MRNA, and I expect that NVAX will be no different. The stock is up more than 36% on today’s news, and you’d be better off not chasing this rally right now.
Besides, Novavax is the vaccine world’s new hotness, so holding off on this red-hot stock might be difficult.
But, if you’re truly looking to ride the vaccine rollercoaster with NVAX, wait to see if today’s gains hold up. If the stock dips below $100, consider adding this one to your portfolio for short-term gains.
Editor’s Note: A vaccine is coming. I hope you’re ready! The American economy is flush with cash and raring to go. We’re set for a new age of American innovation, economic growth and booming tech.
But, if you wait for the vaccine to get here, America’s economic transformation will be already underway … and your chance to get in early will be gone.
Good: Get Sporty
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) needs to make something happen.
Last week, the Blue Oval reported that sales plunged 33.3% in June from year-ago levels. Making matters worse, daily rental revenue cratered 94% and commercial revenue plummeted 78%. There’s your answer to “Have you driven a Ford lately?”
But Ford has an ace up its sleeve.
Next month, the famous (infamous?) Ford Bronco will once again return to dealerships across the country, now in 2-door and 4-door models, as well as a smaller sport edition. The company expects to sell hundreds of thousands of Broncos — just picture wild Ford Broncos as far as the eye can see, bucking and grazing on parking lot asphalt nationwide.
I wonder if you get a free pair of leather gloves if you order a white Bronco? Maybe a free police escort? I digress…
“It’s going to amaze a lot of people,” said Dave Pericak, Ford’s director of iconic vehicles. “They’re going to be shocked at how good it actually is.”
Wait, Ford has a director of iconic vehicles? Aren’t all of Ford’s vehicle lines old enough to be called “iconic?” The company’s production lineup is a veritable museum of barely changed ‘70s designs. Where does it draw the line? Pericak must be very busy.
Anyway, I don’t see a lot of investor excitement surrounding the Bronco or F stock … which is pretty standard fare for Ford. The Bronco should juice sales for a bit, which is good for current investors. But the Bronco is more nostalgia than excitement, and that pretty much sums up Ford as an investment.
If it had only offered an electric version…
Better: Corpus Corvus
Have you read about disappearing antibodies yet? Shudder.
According to a Spanish study, coronavirus-resistant antibodies — those things your body uses to kill diseases it’s seen before — can disappear after just a few weeks in some people. It calls into question that whole “herd immunity” thing with COVID-19.
Why am I harshing your vaccine buzz? Because Corvus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: CRVS) may just have a convenient solution to this particular problem.
Corvus just announced that it started a phase 1 trial for immunotherapy that boosts antibodies for long-term immunity. Now, that’s a lot of big words, I know. Here’s the gist: Corvus’ drug, if successful, could directly impact those disappearing antibodies, making them stay around a lot longer to keep fighting.
What’s more, the therapy also reportedly shortens recovery time. Bonus!
So, Corvus has a drug that could potentially help with herd immunity, boost antibodies and help you get over COVID-19 faster. No wonder CRVS stock jumped more than 120% today, but just like we said before, these biotech rallies are hard to chase … unlike a Ford Bronco.
For investors, remember, CRVS will be volatile throughout the testing phases. Wait for pullbacks after the news if you’re looking to ride this rollercoaster for profit.
Best: Great Stuff Picks — Nikola
About seven years ago, you could’ve bought Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) for less than $50 per share. The stock now trades north of $1,400. Opportunities like that only come around once in a blue moon.
While Great Stuff doesn’t have a time machine … yet … we do have the next best thing. The opportunity to invest in the next “Tesla.” I’m talking about Nikola Corp. (Nasdaq: NKLA).
No, I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested.
Like Tesla, Nikola makes electric vehicles (EVs).
Unlike Tesla, Nikola aims solely at the semitruck and light-duty truck markets. The U.S. economy essentially runs on semitrucks for deliveries and shipping, and I shouldn’t have to tell you that the bestselling vehicle in America (for now) is a truck — the Ford F-Series.
You think those F-Series farm guys will buy a Cybertruck? Nope.
Nikola’s Badger, though? Now there’s an electric truck that looks like a truck. Furthermore, Nikola is already receiving 1,500 preorders per day for the Badger. And that’s with a $5,000 deposit, compared to Tesla’s $100 deposit for the Cybertruck.
But the real opportunity here lies in Nikola’s powertrain. The company makes EVs, true, but those EVs are powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Now, let’s make this clear: Nikola engines are still electric, just like Tesla. However, Nikola’s “battery packs” are hydrogen fuel cells. In other words, you don’t have to plug in and wait for your battery to charge. Just fill up with hydrogen, and off you go.
Many investors overlook hydrogen’s potential.
It has both the potential to be completely green and take advantage of the massive oil industry. Specifically, the ideal way to make hydrogen is by separating it from oxygen in water — H2Ooohhh yeah!
But you can also make hydrogen from natural gas — clean and easy. And there are already distribution channels in place. (Maybe this is why Warren Buffet just bought $10 billion in natural gas assets?)
Right now, Nikola gets a lot of hate from the pro-Tesla crowd, especially on Twitter. NKLA stock has dropped sharply as a result. But this retreat is being fueled by sentiment alone — not fundamentals and not the company’s business plans.
In other words, NKLA’s recent drop is a buying opportunity, and we’re taking advantage of it!
To get in on the future of EV trucks and semis: buy NKLA.
That’s right: We just picked our side of the EV Days soap opera love triangle.
Today in Quote of the Week, we down a dose of must-have or must-avoid. This time, we’re taking it back to the initial public offering (IPO) boom. That’s right — you thought we left those $#!%@& IPOs behind with last year’s WeDebacle? Please.
I trust that you, dear reader, can sniff out a sour deal when you see one. But in case you’d like a Crock-Pot case study, here’s today’s Quotes of the Week, taken straight from this Wall Street Journal piece on software startup Palantir Technologies Inc.:
Red flag No. 1: The art of the tease keeps people on the hook of intrigue, I guess? But hey, even the band Tool can hold out for a decade-plus and still disappoint. (Oops did I say that?)
Red flag No. 2: They what? Have you ever been agitated to sell a solid, long-term stock? Must be some nice gains for the profit-taking … I hope.
Red flag No. 3: This is the real story. You mean to tell me that a company that’s been in operation since 2004 has yet to turn an annual profit? That’s 16 years without an annual profit!
And you want investors to buy into an IPO for this company?
No sir. No way. No how. Thank you and good day.
Remember, don’t be fooled! Every IPO is done for the same reason … the company wants money. And when you have more questionable language than a George Carlin set before even seeing the real numbers … take a whole teaspoon’s worth of salt.
Of course, it’s better not to venture into the IPO market alone. Why not take a guide with you! Someone who’s lived and breathed the IPO trenches for decades, picking apart what’s worth buying and what’s worth hiding.
Great Studs: Write to Us!
Oh, you better believe it’s that time again. You Marco, I Polo!
As it was written in the Great Stuff prophecy many moons ago … Thursdays are for Reader Feedback. So, you have two days to make sure your voice is heard. So why not write to us?
GreatStuffToday@BanyanHill.com is the “where,” your emails are the “what.” Why?
Because we love hearing from you!
Whether you’d like to share your pandemic horror stories, investing wins or slip-ups and gains from Great Stuff Picks … share away! You might just find your email in this week’s edition of Reader Feedback.
Until next time, be Great!
Editor, Great Stuff