Shares of Novavax Inc. slumped 7.1% in morning trading Thursday, to extend their recent plunge toward a near 2 1/2-year low, after J.P. Morgan threw in the towel on the maker of the COVID-19 vaccine Nuvaxovid, citing expectations of more cuts to revenue guidance. Analyst Eric Joseph cut his rating to underweight, after being at neutral since May 2021, and at overweight before that since August 2020. He cut his stock price target to $27 from $132. The stock has now dropped 26.0% amid a 5-day losing streak, to put it on track for the lowest close since May 2020. Last month, the biotechnology company reported a much wider-than-expected second-quarter loss and revenue that fell well short of forecasts, and slashed its full-year revenue guidance in half. Joseph wrote in a note to clients that his read of the recent vaccine dynamic in the European Union and the U.S. suggests “further guidance cuts are in the offing, while also pointing to mid- and longer-term headwinds to meaningful Nuvaxovid uptake.” He also views “key stressors” to Novavax’s balance sheet, and sees potential for dilutive pressure to NVAX shares over the 6-to-12 months. The stock has plummeted 83.2% year to date, while the iShares Biotechnology ETF has dropped 23.5% and the S&P 500 has shed 21.0%.
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