In this article, we discuss the 11 best Covid vaccine and pill stocks to invest in. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to the 5 Best Covid Vaccine and Pill Stocks To Invest In.
In late 2020, as the results from trials of COVID-19 vaccines poured in, it had been quite easy for investors to use the results as a benchmark for future success. Indeed, this strategy paid off for many. Twelve months later, as COVID-19 pills and booster shots become the main topic of discussion, it is a little more difficult to pick winners in the health industry. Several drug giants, like Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), among others discussed in detail below, are developing similar products.
According to official calculations, based on the numbers reported by government agencies around the world, over 7 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered around the world. Over 3 billion people have been fully vaccinated, representing nearly 40% of the global population. Drug giants, which make and sell these vaccines, have benefited the most from this, increasing revenues by manifold overnight. The pace of the vaccinations has also helped with economic recovery – the US GDP grew at 6.7% annualized in the second quarter of 2021.
More recently, oral treatments for COVID-19, like pills, have also been touted as a possible defense against the deadly virus. With drug companies presently developing these pills, the overall outlook on the health industry, which had been in danger of decreasing on the backend of this year as the vaccine rollout slowed, has picked up pace once again. Investors eager to take advantage of this opportunity should explore the stocks mentioned below in detail to identify the ones most likely to provide them with handsome returns.
With this context in mind, here is our list of the 11 best Covid vaccine and pill stocks to invest in. Major drug-makers who already have COVID-19 vaccines on the market were preferred for the list while those that have shown promise in early studies and trials for the pills are also selected.
The hedge sentiment around each stock was gauged using the data of 873 hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey.
Why pay attention to hedge fund holdings? Insider Monkey’s research was able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by more than 86 percentage points since March 2017. Between March 2017 and July 2021 our monthly newsletter’s stock picks returned 186.1%, vs. 100.1% for the SPY. Our stock picks outperformed the market by more than 86 percentage points (see the details here). That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. You can subscribe to our free newsletter on our homepage to receive our stories in your inbox.
Best Covid Vaccine and Pill Stocks To Invest In
11. RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:RDHL)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 4
In early October, RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:RDHL) presented the results of a study into a new experimental drug, administered orally, for COVID-19 patients. The company, which operates from Israel, revealed that the drug reduced the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients by up to 62% compared to a placebo. The share price of the firm jumped more than 6% after the results were announced.
In August, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brandon Folkes had initiated coverage of RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:RDHL) stock with an Overweight rating and a price target of $22, noting that the firm was working on several interesting drugs, including two COVID-19 ones.
Among the hedge funds being tracked by Insider Monkey, New York-based investment firm ARK Investment Management is a leading shareholder in RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:RDHL) with 787,469 shares worth more than $5.4 million.
10. Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 16
HSBC analyst Steve McGarry recently upgraded Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) stock to Buy from Hold and raised the price target to EUR100 from EUR89, underlining that the third quarter results of the firm showed increased operating leverage. The company recently shared positive topline results from a trial of Dupixent, a drug for patients with eosinophilic esophagitis. Bank of America claims the new drug presents a $1 billion sales opportunity for the firm.
In late September, Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) had announced that it would be focusing COVID-19 vaccine efforts on a recombinant vaccine candidate after initial studies. The firm is developing the vaccine in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 16 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $1.2 billion in Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY), up from 15 the preceding quarter worth $1.1 billion.
Just like Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) is one of the top vaccine stocks to invest in.
“Top detractors in Q4 included Sanofi. This defensive security was out of favor as vaccine distribution started in earnest and the market shifted focus to a post-COVID world. Sanofi performed about in line with other global pharmaceuticals companies. We believe Sanofi’s management team will have success improving the pipeline and managing costs through restructuring. For perspective, Swedish Match was down ~4% in the quarter but provided a 54% total return for 2020.”
9. Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVIR)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 17
Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVIR) stock has rallied in the past few weeks on the back of positive initial data of a COVID-19 pill developed by drug giant Merck in partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Although the oral COVID-19 treatment being developed by Atea Pharma along with Roche Holding AG did not meet the main goal in a recent trial, a senior executive at the firm said multiple parallel studies were ongoing to improve the treatment.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 17 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $375 million in Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVIR), up from 13 in the preceding quarter worth $1.2 billion.
8. BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 20
BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) was one of the first companies to develop the COVID-19 vaccine and that product, after being administered to hundreds of millions of adults, has also been approved for children in the US aged 5-11 years-old. The company, which recently provided the US government with 50 million vaccines for children, also has a contract with the government to donate 1 billion doses to developing countries.
Despite these not-for-profit initiatives, BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) has managed to beat market expectations on earnings. In the second quarter, the firm reported a revenue of €5.3 billion, up 12633% year-on-year and beating estimates by €2 billion.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 20 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $579 million in BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX), up from 18 the preceding quarter worth $172 million.
“Among our top contributors as BioNTech. Shares of BioNTech doubled in Q2 as the scientific and commercial success of the company’s highly effective COVID-19 mRNA vaccine came into sharper focus. The emergence of mRNA vaccines—which instruct cells to make a protein to trigger an immune response instead of putting a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies—from BioNTech, Pfizer and Moderna have proven instrumental in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies’ compelling clinical data have made mRNA vaccines the preferred shots globally, prompting BioNTech and its partner Pfizer to expand manufacturing capacity rapidly to keep up with demand. The company now expects to be able to supply up to three billion doses in 2021, a remarkable achievement.
While we have long admired BioNTech’s management, technology platform and deep pipeline of novel cancer therapies, the dramatic stock price increase in Q2 causes some challenges. On one hand, the company is now in an incredibly strong financial position—profits from COVID-19 vaccines will likely give BioNTech massive cash reserves with which to invest aggressively in the broader potential of mRNA therapeutics. On the other hand, we can expect COVID-19 sales to decline sharply longer term, though the shape of this curve is up for debate based on how often booster shots will be needed. We are being prudent in our effort to appraise and value the windfall of profits over the intermediate term while balancing the potential for declining profits for several years post-pandemic (even if the company’s cancer pipeline progresses nicely). We have trimmed our position size to manage this risk accordingly.”
7. Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 37
Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX) shares have soared as authorities in Indonesia allow for the emergency use of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Novavax is developing and selling the vaccine in partnership with the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine is being sold under the name COVOVAX. The firm is also pursuing the marketing of a COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, according to reports, and has completed submissions in this regard.
A protein-based vaccine for COVID-19 treatment, developed by Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX), could also start selling in Australia. The company has filed provisional paperwork for the approval.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 37 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth 1.1 billion in Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX), down from 38 in the previous quarter worth $1.2 billion.
6. Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 37
As adult populations around the world undergo COVID-19 vaccinations, the focus is now shifting towards children. Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) recently announced that authorities in the United States are unlikely to complete the review of a COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents, developed by the firm, by the end of this year. The firm said it will wait for the review to be complete before filing for emergency use authorization.
Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) recently also revealed that it would be doubling vaccine deliveries in the second quarter of 2022 through the COVAX facility. The facility could produce up to 500 million doses of the vaccine through to 2022.
At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 37 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $5.7 billion in Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), down from 39 in the preceding quarter worth $1.6 billion.
In addition to Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) is one of the stocks that hedge funds are buying.
“Among the top contributors to Fund performance in the second quarter was Moderna. Moderna has just reported its first profitable quarter in the company’s history – net income for the most recent quarter was $1.2 billion. It reported revenue of $1.9 billion, an impressive increase compared to $8 million a year ago, driven by the sales of its Covid-19 vaccine. Moderna is expecting to deliver up to 1 billion vaccine doses in 2021 and is in discussions to increase global supply to governments around the world. Our long-term focus remains on the transformational potential of Moderna’s technology and its ability to address different diseases.”
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Disclosure. None. 11 Best Covid Vaccine and Pill Stocks To Invest In is originally published on Insider Monkey.