Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice... well, how many disappointments does Novavax have in store? Novavax (NVAX) has disappointed many investors in over its nearly 30 years. My initial Novavax posting, "Novavax: The Little Engine That Couldn't", documents Novavax's disappointments. This current article is my memo to self, "Novavax is a heartbreaker". Yet I confess I am long the stock. I have no excuse. Somehow or another it keeps pulling me in.
The Novavax story is troublesome
Novavax is a boom or bust stock. It missed its first scheduled NanoFlu data release late last year; it then promised to catch the story up with a full data package in February 2018. I watched in vain every day in February, hoping for some positive momentum upon release of the data.
Then, at the last possible moment, after close of market on February 28, 2018, Novavax issued its NanoFlu press release. Instead of the expected full data package, it issued a press release with the following italicized lead:
- Phase 2 trial of NanoFlu vaccine expected to begin in third quarter of 2018
- Given strength of trial data, Novavax has submitted detailed results for publication in peer-reviewed medical journal
- Company management to discuss more complete trial results after publication
For a brief moment, the release was well received. In the pre-and post-market sessions on the 28th of February and March 1st, Novavax shares shot up to almost $3.00. As the day progressed, the stock settled back dramatically. It closed at $2.27, only a few cents from where it opened on February 27, 2018.
Novavax's submittal of its NanoFlu phase 1/2 trial results to a peer reviewed medical journal creates delay and a big guessing game. How long will it take for the article to be published? Where will it be published? Such questions can consume the narrative. All the while, the full data package we were told to expect in February will remain unseen by investors.