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Novavax stock drops after BofA’s bearish call

Shares of Novavax Inc. sank 8.8% in midday trading Friday, after BofA Securities analyst Alec Stranahan recommended investors avoid the COVID-19 vaccine maker, citing a bearish view on continued booster use and increasing competition in the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu markets. Stranahan initiated coverage of Novavax at underperform and with a $35 stock price target, which implies about 34% downside from current levels. The stock has plunged 62.8% year to date, and has plummeted 83.3% from its post-COVID record close of $319.93 on Feb. 8, 2021, even as the Food the Drug Administration is set to meet June 7 to review Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which has been authorized for use in several other countries. “Despite the recent pullback, we see room for shares to trade lower still, with our longer-term Nuvaxovid expectations meaningfully below consensus…given our bearish view on continued C-19 booster use, unclear benefit as a heterologous option, and waning immunity against new variants (i.e., Omicron),” Stranahan wrote in a note to clients. “Resolution on approvability in flu, RSV, and malaria are also still open questions, with these markets becoming increasingly crowded and emerging competitor data looking strong relative to what Novavax has shown.”

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