Moderna to Open Enterprise Solutions Hub in Atlanta

Biotech company Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) revealed its plans to build an Enterprise Solutions Hub in Atlanta, Georgia. A highly skilled and diverse workforce, a vibrant business community, and the strong growth trajectory in Atlanta tempted the company to open a hub. 

Initially, the new office will provide finance, human resources, procurement, and digital functions. Additional functions and business services will eventually be added as the company grows and operations mature. Markedly, the Atlanta hub will provide similar enterprise solutions to its counterpart in Warsaw, Poland, which was established in May 2021. 

With the expected opening of Atlanta Hub in the second quarter of 2022, Moderna plans to employ around 150-200 full-time employees over the next two years. 

Continuing with its global expansion, the company plans to have commercial subsidiaries in 21 countries in 2022, including additional subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. 

CEO’s Comments 

The CEO of Moderna, Stephane Bancel, said, “We are pleased to be expanding our footprint after a year of tremendous growth, which underscored the need for business services activities in proximity to skilled talent. Along with our center in Poland, our Atlanta hub will bring us closer to realizing our vision of building a company with centralized enterprise solutions hubs worldwide.”  

Price Performance

Despite the positive news of the global expansion, shares of the company declined 1.6% in the extended trading session on Thursday after closing 4.3% lower on the day. 

The price action followed the announcement that certain technologies will be licensed to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations-affiliated Medicines Patent Pool to develop COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. Notably, these technologies are currently being developed by the government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Though the technologies to be transferred have not been finalized yet, it seems that the scheme will not include the technologies designed by private healthcare companies like Moderna. 

Wall Street’s Take 

Recently, Leerink Partners analyst Mani Foroohar reiterated a Sell rating on the stock. 

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 5 Buys, 9 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Moderna price target of $260.40 implies 84% upside potential from current levels. Shares have gained 7% over the past year. 

Risk Analysis 

According to the new TipRanks Risk Factors tool, Moderna stock is at risk mainly from three factors: Tech and Innovation, Legal and Regulatory, and Finance and Corporate, which contribute 21, 17, and 13 risks, respectively, to the total 74 risks identified for the stock.

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