With certain stocks, from sectors such as pharma and aerospace, seeing sharp surges over the past three months, experts are now digesting recent moves and predicting what could be in store for the rest of the year. After a somewhat volatile quarter, global stocks look set to have eked out marginal gains, with the exception of Asia, where Chinese regulatory crackdowns and growth concerns have weighed on major markets. The biggest climber across the main U.S. indexes over the quarter has been pharmaceutical giant and Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna , which despite Tuesday's sell-off on the Nasdaq, closed the session up 63.5% since the start of the quarter. The company's stock has more than tripled this year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this month that Moderna's Covid vaccine was slightly more effective than those produced by rivals Pfizer - BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson , particularly over a four-month period. The company's "first-to-market status, manufacturing success and leading efficacy and safety" have helped it secure a dominant position with "relatively strong pricing power," according to financial services firm Morningstar. However, it may be too late to catch the wave on both Moderna and Germany's BioNTech , Morningstar equity analysts said in a recent research note, arguing that both stocks are "significantly overvalued" at recent prices. "Our long-term cash flow projections for Moderna and BioNTech are heavily reliant on their non-Covid-19 infectious disease and oncology pipelines, where development and commercial risk create a very high uncertainty around our valuation of these firms," Morningstar Senior Sector Strategist Karen Andersen said. By 2030, Morningstar models $10.5 billion in annual revenue at Moderna, $2 billion of which will be from Covid-19. "We think the firms remain vulnerable to disruptive threats over the next 10 years, and we do not assign either firm a moat," Andersen added. Over in Europe, one of several stocks powered higher by M & A news was British aerospace and defense firm Meggitt , which surged more than 60% across the quarter, as of Tuesday's close, after accepting a £6.3 billion ($8.8 billion) offer from U.S. industrial giant Parker-Hannifin . However, the deal is reportedly in the crosshairs of U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, amid questions over security from military and political figures. Shares of Swedish Orphan Biovitrum , which specializes in rare diseases, have gained 52.1% since the start of the quarter after the company accepted a 69 billion Swedish crown ($8 billion) buyout bid from Advent International and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC. Finnish software company QT Group has jumped 43.9% after a strong second quarter saw net sales increase by 87.6% year-on-year and profits climb sharply. In April, the company also signed an agreement to acquire German quality assurance software firm Froglogic. President and CEO Juha Varelius said the second quarter could be characterized as "exceptionally strong," but warned that the pandemic continues to negatively affect many of the firm's customers. British airplane engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has added 46.4% in the third quarter, after returning to profit with its second-quarter earnings and sending its first all-electric aircraft for its maiden flight. The company's share price had already been rising for several weeks thanks to a relaxation of air travel restrictions, but was further bolstered in the past week by a new contract win. The company signed a deal with the U.S. Air Force that will see its F-130 engine power the B-52 for the next 30 years. Elsewhere, Australian Nasdaq-listed software firm Atlassian gained 48.6% across the quarter by Tuesday's close. Stateside, Paycom Software , Monolithic Power Systems and Albemarle Corp. have climbed 34.4%, 31.3% and 28.5%, respectively. Although Asian markets took a broad beating over the quarter, Hong Kong power tools manufacturer Techtronic Industries has added 14.5% since the start of the quarter after strong earnings growth.
Palestinians receive a shipment of doses with the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine donated by the U.S, in Salem village, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, August 24, 2021.
Mohamad Torokman | Reuters
With certain stocks, from sectors such as pharma and aerospace, seeing sharp surges over the past three months, experts are now digesting recent moves and predicting what could be in store for the rest of the year.