💉 Moderna joins the big leagues

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
_The Post-Couch era is coming [THEPALMER/E+ via GettyImages]_

The Post-Couch era is coming [THEPALMER/E+ via GettyImages]

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Hey Snackers,

Because baby showers weren't enough, people are now throwing "business showers" for their new ventures. Congratulations, it's an LLC.

Stocks rebounded hard yesterday after Monday's major plunge.

1. Moderna joins the S&P 500 after its Covid vax success — but its real power is the platform

Happened mRN-ASAP... Today, Moderna joined the prestigious S&P 500 index. The "Club 500" membership gives the 11-year-old biotech some serious Wall Street cred. Trillions of dollars are invested in funds that mirror the S&P 500 index, which tracks the 500 most valuable US public companies.

  • Investors use the S&P 500 as an indicator for how the overall market is doing, and can invest in S&P-tracking funds, which include a combo of every stock in the index.
  • Fund managers now have to buy Moderna stock to track the index, so Moderna shares have popped 18% since the S&P news broke on Thursday. But S&P-joining rallies (if they happen), don't necessarily last long.

Major booster shot... Pre-pandemic, Moderna was a little-known biotech startup worth $6B — with zero products on the market. In May 2020, Moderna was a $27B biotech working on a Covid vax — still, with zero products. Today, Moderna is a household name worth $123B, and its Covid vaccine has been injected into the arms of 63M Americans.

  • Fresh profits: In May, Moderna revealed a whopping $1.2B profit on $1.7B in vax sales — its first profit ever.
  • Fresh tech: Pfizer's and Moderna's Covid vaccines were the first mRNA vaccines ever approved for humans. Unlike OG vaccines which use weakened viruses to prompt immunity, mRNA vaxes teach cells to destroy viruses. Intense.
  • Fresh pipeline: Moderna's pipeline includes mRNA vaccines for 10 viruses that are in, or nearing, human trials.

The power lies in the platform... Moderna's investor presentation leads with: "mRNA is a platform." The Covid vax is a billboard for Moderna's cutting-edge platform, which could enable it to churn out all kinds of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics in "record time." 80+ viruses have been discovered since 1980 — but you can only get vaccinated against three of those. Moderna's working on mRNA vax shots for the flu, Zika, HIV, and even cancer. But it faces plenty of risks, including unsuccessful trials and challenges with its new tech.


Grand Theft Spin Bike... Doesn't roll off the tongue. Peloton is getting into gaming. The spin icon is launching an in-app video game called "Lanebreak" (ETA: early 2022). So far, it's looking like a car wheel on a Guitar Hero chord. The rhythm-based game features a personal avatar, which you can move through tracks and obstacles to score rewards. Think: notching up your resistance to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger," or challenging capspin_america on Level 4.

Turn down the torque... Corona-conomy thrivers are starting to sweat. Netflix reported yesterday that it added 1.5M paid subscribers last quarter — less than the 4M it added in the previous quarter, and waaay less than the 16M it added in the first quarter of 2020 (aka: peak lockdown). Pandemic-thriver Peloton could see a similar slowdown.

  • Peloton saw explosive growth mid-pandemic, as its $2K spin bikes flew off shelves. That could end now that Soul Cycle studios and gyms are back with IRL sweating.
  • Not just Equinox: The at-home competition is fierce for both Peloton and Netflix, as rivals multiplied and grew during the pandemic.
  • A few Peloton competitors: Mirror, Tempo, Zwift, Echelon, and iFit, which is reportedly eyeing an IPO. Netflix competitors: anything that ends with "+."

The Post-Couch Era demands innovation... Pandemic thrivers like Peloton and Zoom need to compete with IRL activities — and with a fresh crop of "couch era" rivals that bulked up during lockdown. That competition requires innovation in order to retain and grow customers. That's why Netflix just announced it's also adding video games to its streaming subscriptions, and why Zoom is launching Zoom-as-a-Service.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • Firsts: Jeff Bezos completed his 10-minute Blue Origin spaceflight, along with the oldest person ever to fly to space (Wally Funk, 82), and the youngest (Oliver Daemen, 18).
  • Cryptic: Crypto derivatives exchange FTX raised the largest private round in crypto history, with a $900M fundraise at an $18B valuation.
  • DOJ'd: President Biden will nominate Google critic Jonathan Kanter to lead the DOJ's Antitrust Division.
  • Guac: Chipotle smashed earnings expectations as dine-in customers returned in droves. Digital orders made up nearly half the burrito legend's sales.
  • Credit: Top US banking regulators plan to modernize rules governing how banks lend hundreds of billions annually to lower-income communities.
  • Buffet: Carnival stock popped 7% after it announced plans to resume guest cruises with 75% of its capacity by year’s end.
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  • Earnings expected from Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, United Airlines, and Verizon

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Moderna

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