China has long had a challenging time with COVID-19. While for many of us it’s an afterthought these days, and some terrible memories of lockdowns past, in China, it’s making a comeback. And with that, so too are the share prices of several major healthcare stocks.
Word out of Zhong Nanshan, a respiratory disease specialist in China, says that the Chinese could be facing as many as 65 million COVID-19 cases a week within the next six weeks. That’s primarily the fault of one of the more recent Omicron variants, known as XBB. Further, Zhong is looking for as many as 40 million cases per week just by the end of this month. Zhong Nanshan is regarded as one of the leading COVID-19 experts in China thanks to his work against COVID-19 in its earliest days.
Interestingly, China is already preparing a range of its own vaccines to take on Omicron and its many variants. However, other vaccine makers are also seeing gains. Zhong noted that several such treatments were already approved and should reach patients soon. Meanwhile, several others are ready and waiting. Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) closed up 8.73% in Tuesday’s trading, while CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC) closed up 8.27%. Slightly behind CureVac was BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX), gaining 8.23%, and NovaVax (NASDAQ:NVAX), finishing up 6.1%. Finally, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) closed up just 2.32% in Tuesday’s trading.
Moderna may have led the way today, but it’s only in the middle of the pack overall for upside potential. Analyst consensus calls it a Moderate Buy, and with an average price target of $226.33, Moderna stock offers an upside potential of 64.25%. Meanwhile, Pfizer gained the least, but it was also the smallest upside potential among the five. Analyst consensus considers Pfizer stock a Hold, and with an average price target of $45.62, it offers just 15.81% upside potential.