Moderna mar­ket value shrinks to $6.1 bil­lion

The Washington Post - - ECONOMY & BUSINESS -

Moderna shares sank on their first day of trad­ing as in­vestors gave a chilly re­cep­tion to one of this year’s splashiest stock mar­ket de­buts.

The biotech­nol­ogy com­pany that is aim­ing to make per­son­al­ized cancer vac­cines fell 19 per­cent to $18.60 Fri­day, a dis­ap­point­ing start for what had been one of the most richly val­ued pri­vate health-care start-ups.

The list­ing is likely to be the last in what has been a ban­ner year for ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ings by biotech firms. Be­fore Moderna’s de­but, some 53 biotech com­pa­nies had gone pub­lic this year on U.S. ex­changes, raising $5.7 bil­lion over­all. That topped the pre­vi­ous record of $5.27 bil­lion raised by such IPOs in 2000, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

Moderna ex­panded the size of its of­fer­ing Thurs­day to sell al­most 26.3 mil­lion shares at $23 each, in the mid­dle of the mar­keted range of $22 to $24 a share, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment. The of­fer­ing gave the com­pany a mar­ket value of about $7.85 bil­lion, top­ping its $7 bil­lion val­u­a­tion af­ter a $500 mil­lion pri­vate fund­ing round in Fe­bru­ary.

By Fri­day’s close, Moderna’s mar­ket value had shrunk to $6.1 bil­lion.

The IPO’s vast size and rich price may have played a role in its poor per­for­mance, an­a­lysts sug­gested. Moderna has no ap­proved prod­ucts on the mar­ket and has con­sis­tently lost money as it ramps up its re­search and drug-de­vel­op­ment ef­forts.

VIVEK PRAKASH/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IM­AGES

A worker cleans a mar­ket al­ley­way af­ter the clo­sure of busi­nesses in Hong Kong. The spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion of China is home to 7.2 mil­lion peo­ple and had a $61,500 per capita GDP in 2017.

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