Investing.com — U.S.-listed shares in BioNTech (NASDAQ:) dipped in early trading on Friday after analysts at JPMorgan downgraded their rating of the vaccine maker to “underweight” from “neutral.”
In a note to clients cutting their price target to $99 from $106, the JPMorgan analysts flagged headwinds from continued “uncertainty” around BioNTech’s key COVID-19 jab and a “protracted” time line for the company to develop a “meaningful” pipeline of oncology treatments.
“COVID vaccines provide valuation support, but as this vaccination season unfolds, we see further risk to long-term estimates,” the analysts said.
The comments come after Germany-based BioNTech slashed its 2023 revenue outlook by about 1 billion euros in November due to slipping demand for its COVID vaccine made with U.S. drugmaking giant Pfizer (NYSE:). BioNTech now sees revenues from the vaccine coming in at around 4 billion euros (1 euro = $1.0846), down from its prior estimate of 5 billion euros and well below the 17.2 billion euros it posted last year.
However, BioNTech noted that write-downs at Pfizer, with which the company has a key vaccine-related profit-sharing agreement, are now expected to cause revenues to drop by 508 million euros. It had initially projected an impact of around 900 million euros.
Beyond the coronavirus unit, BioNTech is also attempting to bolster its oncology pipeline, which would utilize the mRNA technology found in its COVID vaccine. But, with revenue forecasts now lowered, the firm has had to reduce its budget for research and development as well.
“We think key oncology pipeline assets will take time to mature,” the JPMorgan analysts said.