Moderna – The Vaccine to Save the World? Or an Irresponsible CEO?

I have seen a lot in a career centered around Wall Street, and while I burned out on that game 10 years ago, my experience allows me to see all through a cautious. I’m especially skeptical about public companies with market-moving announcements.

Moderna is one of a score of companies testing drugs and vaccines. Yes, Moderna got off to a quick start, but yesterday I was shocked to hear the CEO touting the results of a phase 1 test created to discover a Covid-19 vaccine.

It is unusual and abnormal to hear a company make a promising announcement about something like a vaccine to save the world when the announcement is based on the results of 8 patients. Worse, no formal data was released. No scientific evidence, per se, to back up the claims. Any way you look at this, it was a premature announcement that juiced the stock another 10 points boasting this company to $80 a share from just $18 a few months ago.

I’m not saying these guys don’t have a potential vaccine. When I heard last night, however, that the company was raising another $1.8 billion in a stock offering, the premature announcement made sense. Unethical, unusual – and when a CEO does something like that? Any potential investor ought to look extra hard at the reality behind any other announcement. Personally, it makes me question whether the right man is in the driver’s seat – but to each his or her own!