Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) rose 6.8% on Friday, as analysts and investors grew more optimistic about the vaccine maker's growth prospects.
Piper Sandler analyst Edward Tenthoff repeated his overweight rating on Moderna's stock and boosted his price forecast from $208 to $234 on Thursday. His new price target represents potential returns to shareholders of roughly 37% from Moderna's current share price near $170.
Tenthoff noted that data from a phase 3 study showed Moderna's authorized coronavirus vaccine, mRNA-1273, continued to demonstrate efficacy against COVID-19 of more than 90% after six months. That bodes well for sales of the drug; Tenthoff projects that Moderna will generate mRNA-1273 revenue of $10.85 billion in 2021 and $15.75 billion in 2022.
Tenthoff also praised Moderna's "rich pipeline" of mRNA-based drugs. The biotech currently has 14 vaccine candidates in clinical trials.