3 Doomed Biotech Stocks to Dump Before They Dive: February 2024

Stocks to sell

The unpredictable nature of the biotech industry, which frequently flirts with failure, underscores the inherent risks and rewards associated with doomed biotech stocks. The journey from drug discovery to market approval is notoriously long and uncertain. The road often exceeds a decade, with the approval process varying significantly by drug type. This complexity, coupled with a staggering 90% failure rate in clinical drug development, underscores the precarious nature of biotech investments.

Indeed, the biotech industry has a valuation of $1.2 trillion and projected growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% from 2023 to 2030. However, it is navigating a major slowdown, adjusting to post-pandemic realities. Yet, the market’s bull run is hard to ignore, with the S&P 500 up by a dazzling 21.2% surge in the past year.

Therefore, amid the celebratory atmosphere, prudent investors might opt for caution when it comes to biotech.

Novavax (NVAX)

Concept of NVAX stock vaccine against COVID-19. Glass medical vials with liquid. Ampoules with coronavirus vaccine on a medical glass table

Source: vovidzha / Shutterstock.com

Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) is a biotechnology entity focused on crafting vaccines against serious infectious diseases. The company faces a precarious future with no evident path to recovery. Despite having two approved vaccine candidates, the company’s relatively small pipeline fails to inspire confidence, especially when juxtaposed with industry giants like Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).

Moreover, Novavax experienced a staggering 65.29% plunge last year, reflecting this stark decline in its financial performance, with a 43.15% yearly drop in revenue compared to the sector’s median growth of 6.44%. Additionally, a troubling cash flow report highlights the company’s operational struggles, showing a deficit of $655 million over the last twelve months.

Furthermore, Novavax finds itself in the aftermath of a financial storm, recently resolving a hefty $47 million securities class action lawsuit tethered to its COVID-19 vaccine assertions. The once-soaring stock reached $315 in early 2021 and is now experiencing a staggering 98.8% decline, hanging at a mere $3.78. This substantial drop raises concerns about Novavax’s future.

Maravai (MRVI)

Biochemical/biotech research scientist team working with microscope

Source: Mongkolchon Akesin / Shutterstock.com

Maravai LifeSciences Holdings’ (NASDAQ:MRVI) recent performance paints a bleak picture for investors. The stock tumbled 62.45% over the past year and 50.45% in the last six months alone. With the company facing headwinds from reduced vaccine sales and the necessity for a cost-cutting initiative, investing carries a substantial risk of further losses.

Financially, this decline was underscored by a less-than-stellar third-quarter report. In fact, the San Diego-based life science reagent provider disclosed a GAAP earning per share loss of 5 cents. MRVI missed forecasts by four cents, and significant revenue dropped to $66.9 million, down 65% year over year (YOY) and short of expectations by $8.62 million.

Furthermore, Maravai’s shares plummeted to a new 52-week low following the release of its disappointing quarterly financials. This drop reflects broader concerns beyond vaccine sales. Also, it includes market skepticism about the firm’s ability to navigate the post-pandemic landscape and adapt its business model to emerging biotech trends.

Moderna (MRNA)

Moderna (MRNA) research Coronavirus (Covid 19) vaccine. Row of vaccine bottles with blurred Moderna company logo on background.

Source: Carlos l Vives / Shutterstock.com

In the past year, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has faced a tumultuous reversal of fortunes as vaccine demand wanes. It led to a significant surplus and disposal of unused doses. This downturn in demand has directly impacted Moderna’s financial health. Further, the company is witnessing a steep 41.95% YOY decline in its stock value.

Moreover, Moderna’s third-quarter earnings report painted a grim picture. It saw a staggering loss of $9.53 per share, a far cry from the anticipated consensus of $2.05, alongside a 45.5% YOY revenue drop to $1.83 billion. Additionally, the company’s YOY revenue growth plummeted by 57.36%, starkly contrasting with the sector median of 6.44%. This highlights Moderna’s precarious position in the market.

Furthermore, recent studies overshadow mRNA vaccines, citing serious concerns such as reactogenicity and multi-systemic side effects. These have only compounded Moderna’s woes, further eroding investor confidence and prompting urgent calls for comprehensive review and reassessment.

On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque 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.

Muslim Farooque is a keen investor and an optimist at heart. A life-long gamer and tech enthusiast, he has a particular affinity for analyzing technology stocks. Muslim holds a bachelor’s of science degree in applied accounting from Oxford Brookes University.

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