Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) looks like good value today given both its prospects (especially in India) and its valuation metrics. This is a biotech company that has developed a popular, non-RNA-related vaccine against Covid-19. Right now, it looks like NVAX stock could be worth at least 100% more to $419 than its present price of $209.52 as of Jul. 22.
NVAX stock is up about 88% year-to-date (YTD), as it closed at $111.51 on Dec. 31. In fact, for the past one year, the stock is up roughly 50%. Now, based on its prospects and low valuation, I suspect it will continue to rise.
Here’s what you should know about this pick moving forward.
NVAX Stock: The Prospects and Efficacy
On May 10, Novavax released its earnings report for its first quarter, showing that it had another quarter of significant revenue, bringing in $447 million. This was up significantly from its year-ago revenue of around $3 million, but more importantly up 59.8% over its Q4 2020 sales of $279.7 million. Most of this gain was from its NVX-CoV2373 vaccine for U.S. government contracts.
Novavax’s vaccine was recently shown on Jun. 30 to have 96.4% efficacy against the most common variant of Covid-19. But moving forward, the company also has serious prospects overseas, especially in India. Based on these and other prospects, analysts now expect revenue will reach $2.16 billion in 2021 and $5.23 billion in 2022.
However, this company has still not yet attained regulatory approval in the United States, the U.K. or Europe. On May 10, Reuters reported that Novavax would not seek approval until Q3. Moreover, the company apparently reported that it would not enter into full production until Q4, although it would have 100 million doses per month capacity by the third quarter.
Nevertheless, analysts are becoming more positive about NVAX stock given the results published in the New England Journal of Medicine, mentioned above. In essence, Novavax’s vaccine is effective against the virus while also costing less. Plus, it can be stored more easily than the RNA vaccines from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), according Seeking Alpha.
Currently, NVAX stock looks to be too cheap, especially when compared to Moderna. For example, Moderna trades on a price-to-sales (P/S) multiple of 6.7 times for 2021 and 8.2 times for 2022. The 2022 ratio is higher since its 2o21 revenue forecast is $19.2 billion while 2022 is $15.8 billion.
However, Novavax is forecast to have higher revenue of $5.23 billion for its 2022 estimate. If we apply an average 7.45 times multiple (from Moderna’s estimates) to Novavax’s 2022 sales, its target value is $38.9 billion.
That is well over twice its present $15.5 billion market value (actually about +150%). In fact, even if we used Moderna’s 2021 P/S metric of 6.7 times for NVAX stock, the resulting target market value of $35 billion is still over twice present value (+126%). This implies that NVAX should trade for around $473.
Of course, analysts are not as ebullient as I am on NVAX stock. For example, Tipranks says that six analysts now have an average of $249.60 per share, or roughly 20% higher than today’s price. Yahoo! Finance is better, though, saying that four analysts have an average price of $271.75, or 29.7% higher.
What to Do with NVAX Stock
So, at least other analysts think the stock is still too cheap as well.
In fact, if we average my estimate of a 126% increase with analysts’ best estimate of a 29.7% gain, the potential upside is still 77.9%. Moreover, if we weigh my estimate by 70% and give a 30% weight to analysts’ estimates, the result is an expected return of a gain of 97% in NVAX stock.
Therefore, NVAX stock should double to around $419 over the next year as its vaccine spreads around the world.
On the date of publication, Mark R. Hake did not hold any position in any of the securities mentioned in the article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.