Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) stock continues to remain under selling pressure. This time, the issue that investors are weighing is why Novavax has only delivered about 10 million doses of its vaccine. Considering the company has pledged to deliver 2 billion doses in 2022 and we’re already well into February, the math becomes difficult.
But this sounds like it could be less of a manufacturing issue and more of a distribution issue. According to a Novavax spokesperson who spoke with Reuters, in several cases, shipments are waiting in a distribution warehouse. But before the vaccines can go to healthcare providers, they have to clear regulatory obstacles.
This has at least one country considering canceling its orders for the Novavax vaccine. And if that one country becomes several countries, it could be a significant threat to NVAX stock.
It’s Not the What, it’s the Where
However, the reason that this is significant is not because of the idea that Novavax may not be hitting its self-imposed quotas. The issue is that Novavax was targeting distribution to countries that have been underserved in the vaccine rollout.
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As you recall, the logistics of the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccines was the need for them to be stored at specific temperatures. That makes delivery more challenging in developing countries.
This was a key advantage for Novavax. Its subunit vaccine could be stored at refrigerator temperature. And it is still possible that Novavax may have a significant difference in a country like India. But the longer it takes to get its vaccine into arms, the more it risks losing this critical advantage.
Where I Was Right
The Novavax vaccine is distinctly different from the existing mRNA vaccines. I was told on at least one occasion that the Novavax vaccine would be well received by the scientific community. And for that reason, it might lower vaccine hesitancy.
I agreed with the scientific argument. But I was skeptical. The United States and much of the developed world is amply supplied with vaccines. The problem is not one of supply; it is demand. And that was why I felt that it was critical for Novavax to get its product in the market quickly.
This latest setback is likely to be just another reminder that Novavax is late to a party that is already crowded.
Where I Was Wrong
Back in December, when NVAX stock was trading around $177 a share, I quipped that investing in Novavax was about its ceiling, not its floor. It wasn’t a bullish call by any means. I felt the stock had found support but had limited upside.
However, since that article, the stock price has dropped by more than 50%. And based on this latest news, the stock may have further to fall. As I look at the situation today, I say that NVAX stock is now about the floor.
NVAX Stock: Too Many Questions; Not Enough Answers
To be fair, Novavax has brought its first vaccine to market. It doesn’t have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, but the fact that it has gotten this far may be good news for the rest of the company’s pipeline. And it may be the pipeline that represents the company’s best chance for NVAX stock.
Novavax isn’t heavily covered by the analyst community. And as much as I usually assign a lot of weight to what the analysts have to say, in the case of NVAX stock, I’m going to wait.
The company reports earnings in early March. Based on the company’s expected vaccine production, analysts are expecting to see the company turn a profit in 2022. That looks shaky at this point
Between now and then, analysts will likely share that concern. And they’re likely to start weighing in on the company’s stock. When they do, my belief is that the consensus price target of $245.83 is going to drop significantly. And that may take NVAX stock even lower.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for eight years. He has been writing for InvestorPlace since 2019.
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