Are Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca playing on the stock market with stocks and vaccines?

Are Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca playing on the stock market with stocks and vaccines?

Like Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca move between stocks, the stock market and vaccines. The latest news and management operations (Financial Times criticized Pfizer's Bourla)

Pfizer reports that its Covid vaccine is 90% effective and CEO Albert Bourla sells shares for $ 5.56 million. The CEO of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, also makes cash by selling the group's securities. Here is the turnover that accompanies the vaccine race, the latest agreements signed with the United States and Europe and the leading companies such as Astrazeneca.


On Monday, November 9, 2020, the news arrived that the coronavirus vaccine developed by the American Pfizer and the German Biontech is 90% effective, a figure above expectations. Stock exchanges around the world reacted positively and the Pfizer stock listed on Wall Street on the NYSE went from $ 34.5 (closing on Friday, November 6) to $ 37.13 (closing on November 9), gaining on 7 , About 6%.


On the same day the news broke , Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla sold 62 percent of the shares he owned in the group's equity, grossing $ 5.56 million. In detail, as emerges from the SEC website (the American Consob), the CEO sold 132,508 shares at the unit price of 41.94 dollars.

Also on November 9, Pfizer Executive Vice President Susman Sally sold 43,662 shares of the company at a unit price of $ 41.94 per share, grossing $ 1.83 million.


The management maneuver relating to the sale of Pfizer shares on the day when the news arrived that pushed the stock exchanges and the stock of the pharmaceutical company to the rise, has left many investors perplexed. Thus, the American group clarified that the sale of the shares by the CEO had already been authorized on August 19, 2020 and was part of a trading plan conditional on the shares reaching a certain price.

As stated by Reuters , Pfizer specified that the sale of the CEO's shares "is part of Dr. Bourla's personal financial planning and a pre-established plan (10b5-1), which allows, according to the rules of the Sec, the main shareholders and employees of listed companies to exchange a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time ".

RULE SEC 10b5-1

As the Financial Times explains, for the 10b5-1 rule, the idea is that if you set up an operation to be executed automatically in the months or years to come, it is unlikely that you are unfairly abusing inside information. But the FT also asks: if the timing of the transaction is fixed, what happens if you check the timing of the announcement?

The Financial Times therefore gives an example. If news from Pfizer and Biontech about the vaccine had come on Tuesday, and the Bourla stock sale had been scheduled for Monday, the deal would have taken place at a lower price level. Assuming stable Pfizer stock performance over the course of Monday, CEO Bourla would have earned $ 4.8 million instead of nearly $ 5.6 million.


After the announcement regarding the progress made by Pfizer-Biontech, the news of Moderna, a US company at the forefront of the production of a Covid vaccine, has also arrived: the company has announced that its anti-Covid vaccine is effective at 94 , 5%. The Moderna stock, listed in America on the Nasdaq, has thus continued the rally achieved since the first months of 2020: the share has in fact gone from 19.23 dollars at the beginning of the year to the current 95 dollars.

In this context, according to the Financial Time, in the course of 2020 the CEO of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, sold 49.8 million dollars of shares of the company, according to data from S&P Global. Bancel also explained that his work falls within the scope of the 10b5-1 plan. However, the plan was established well before the Covid pandemic, i.e. in December 2018, and is spread over relatively small volumes of shares at regular intervals. The dollar amounts are particularly high as the company's stock value has increased fivefold this year.

In any case, the Huffington Post reports that “many have wondered why the executives of a company in pole position in the search for a vaccine against Covid flood the market with their shares. However, there is no evidence that "Pfizer and Moderna managers" have done anything illegal. Certainly these enormous movements raise ethical questions and opportunities that, however, at least for now, the US financial authority does not seem to ask, despite leaving their side open to abuses ”.


The turnover behind scientific research does not only concern stock market movements, but is much broader. Pfizer and Biontech recently reached an agreement with the European Commission to supply 200 million doses of the experimental vaccine against Covid, with the option of requesting up to 100 million more. In July 2020, the two companies signed an agreement with the United States government for the supply of 100 million doses once the green light from the Food and Drug Administration was obtained. The US will pay 1.95 billion dollars for the first tranche, and will be able to buy another 500 million later. The price of each dose of the vaccine should be around $ 20. Biontech then received 375 million euros from the German government, which was added to the financing of the European Investment Bank of 100 million euros.

Moderna is also approaching an agreement with Europe. On Repubblica we read the statements of the spokesman of the European Commission Stefan de Keersmaecker, according to which the EU Commission “has agreed with Moderna to supply up to 160 million doses of the vaccine, but now we must translate this will into a contract”. The spokesman also specified that the EU executive has contacts with companies in which "it has an expectation that they will be able to develop an effective and safe vaccine as soon as possible". On 11 August, Moderna and the American government signed an agreement for 100 million doses of vaccine for about 1.5 billion dollars, with the possibility of buying another 400 million vaccines.

The US Department of Health, according to the Huffington Post , then signed other agreements with Johnson & Johnson (1 billion), with AstraZeneca (1.2 billion), Novavax (1.6 billion) and Gsk (2 billion) . Astrazeneca on August 14 signed an important agreement with the European Commission for the supply of 300 million doses of the vaccine, to be distributed to member countries based on population, plus another 100 million. The definitive price is not known, writes the Huffington Post , but at the moment it is known that 336 million euros have departed from Brussels, probably as a down payment. The European Commission after the contracts signed with Astrazeneca, Pfizer / Biontech, Sanofi-Gsk, Janssen Pharmaceutica Nv (one of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen pharmaceutical companies) and the exploratory talks successfully concluded with Moderna, on November 17 approved a fifth contract with European pharmaceutical company Curevac, which will allow the initial purchase of 225 million doses of the vaccine on behalf of all EU member states, with the option of requesting up to 180 million additional doses, which will be provided as soon as they are demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Sun, 22 Nov 2020 07:58:15 +0000.