Markets Up Big Monday; Zoom (ZM) Beats, Novavax (NVAX) Misses Q4

Mark Vickery
·3-min read

What a difference a new month makes! After slogging through volatility and pot holes through much of February, investors put aside their concerns about interest rates rising (and signaling the end of the era of “cheap money”) and put their funds to work in equities of every stripe: the Dow rose 1.95% on the day, +603 points; the S&P 500 gained 2.38%; the Nasdaq rose 3%, nearly 400 points; and the small-cap Russell 2000 took the cake, +3.37% in regular trading Monday.

We also see Q4 results from Maryland-based biotech Novavax NVAX after today’s close. While the company took a big hit on its bottom line — -$2.70 per share was well off estimates for -$1.53 per share and -$1.13 posted in the year-ago quarter — revenues were up big year over year to $279.7 million. This marks the company’s sixth miss in the past 10 quarters. On the news, shares slipped, but have climbed slightly into positive territory since.

However, Novavax’s fortunes are about to change this year: its phase-3 trial in the UK for its Covid-19 vaccine has proved 96% effective on older strains of the coronavirus, 86% effective on the U.S. strain and 49-60% on the tougher South African strain. In early Q2 2021, Novavax expects to file for approval in the UK , and perhaps an Emergency Use Approval (EUA) in the U.S. The company estimates it can manufacture 2 billion doses globally by mid-year.

Zoom Video ZM, arguably the biggest success story of the pandemic era, also posted Q4 results — Zoom beat estimates by a wide margin on both top and bottom lines: $1.22 per share versus 78 cents in the Zacks consensus on $882 million in quarterly sales, well ahead of the $809 million anticipated and +369% year over year. The company also raised guidance for next quarter and full-year 2021.

It’s the seventh straight earnings beat for Zoom since the company went public in 2019. Shares are up 6% in late trading after gaining 10% in the normal session. Subscriber numbers have continued to go through the roof: customers with 10+ employees in Q4 grew an astounding 470%. Overall, the company posted its third straight 300%+ gain in overall subscribers. It would appear the specter of a new, open economy has not taken the shine off Zoom Video to this point.

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