Daily Update - April 11, 2023

Selected highlights of the day:

By: Matthew Otto

Moderna provides news on its pipeline

Moderna provided an update on its mRNA portfolio of drugs, including a potential vaccine for Lyme disease and a refrigerator-stable vaccine for Covid-19 that showed encouraging results in multiple clinical trials. However, part of the announcement was that it was too soon to declare early success in a flu vaccine trial, and the company would need to continue testing.

Despite this setback, Moderna expects six major vaccine product launches over the next few years, with the annual global endemic Covid-19 booster market alone estimated to be approximately $15 billion. The company also estimates sales of its vaccines that deal with respiratory problems to fall between $8 billion and $15 billion in 2027. CEO Stéphane Bancel noted that Moderna’s mRNA platform has changed medicine and will continue to have a major impact on global health.

  • No new analyst recommendations at this time have been provided

Energy merger draws more attention

In continuation to yesterday’s news about the potential of Exxon Mobil Corp that has held preliminary talks with Pioneer Natural Resources about a possible acquisition, some analyst have updated their perspective on the relevant stocks at hand.

Pioneer is the third-largest oil producer in the Permian basin, the biggest in the United States, with a market capitalization of around $49 billion. Analysts believe that exploration and production companies, including Pioneer, could be acquired in the coming quarters as oil giants such as Exxon look to boost inventory.

  • Mizuho analyst Nitin Kumar has reiterated a Neutral rating on Chevron and maintained a price target of $206.
  • Secondly, Truist Securities analyst Neal Dingmann has maintained a Buy rating on Chevron and raised the price target from $179 to $193.
  • Truist Securities analyst Neal Dingmann keeps Exxon Mobil with a Hold and raises his price target from $110 to $116.
  • However, Truist Securities Neal Dingmann reduced his price target on Pioneer Natural Resources to $220.00 from $229.00 while staying with a Hold rating.
  • Truist Securities analyst Neal Dingmann also downgraded EQT from Buy to Hold rating and moved his price target lower from $41 to $28.
  • Wells Fargo analyst Roger Read maintains an Overweight rating on EQT, but has lowered the price target from $41 to $39.

NASDAQ gets downgraded by Walstreet

  • Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Cyprys has downgraded Nasdaq from “Overweight” to “Equal-Weight” and has also lowered the price target from $70 to $60.
  • Jefferies analyst Daniel Fannon has maintained a “Hold” rating on Nasdaq and drops  his price target to $58.00 from $59.00.
  • Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Bedell has also maintained a “Hold” rating on Nasdaq and has moved his stock forecast lower to $55.00 from $62.00.


WeightWatchers stays in shape


WW International, also known as WeightWatchers, has completed its acquisition of Sequence, a subscription telehealth platform that specializes in chronic weight management. The platform integrates patients and clinicians’ experiences and offers medication management and clinical care. It also provides high-touch support to help navigate the insurance approval process.


  • Goldman Sachs analyst Jason English raises WW from Neutral to Buy rating and upgrades his price target from $3.8 to $13.


ADTRAN announced preliminary results for the quarter


The company’s preliminary revenue for the first quarter is expected to be between $322 million and $326 million, compared to the previously guided range of $355 million to $375 million.


The preliminary GAAP operating margin is expected to be between -14% and -17%, and preliminary non-GAAP operating margin is expected to be between -1% and -2.5%.


The decrease in revenue was primarily due to customer inventory corrections and supply constraints. However, the CEO believes the inventory impact is transitory, and the company expects to see improvement during the second quarter. The final results for the quarter will be released on May 8, 2023.

  • No new analyst recommendations at this time have been provided

Consolidation in Cannabis


Tilray Brands entered into an arrangement agreement with HEXO Corp to acquire all outstanding common shares of HEXO. Tilray previously acquired all outstanding principal and interest under the HEXO Note on July 12, 2022, Tilray delivered consideration totaling approximately $155 million to the seller prior.


  • TD Cowen analyst Vivien Azer keeps Tilray with an Outperform rating but drops his price target from $9 to $5.