- Following an eye-popping rally in 2020, Merck said on Wednesday that it sold its entire stake in Moderna.
- Merck, which is collaborating with Moderna on potential cancer treatments, invested in Moderna in 2015 and 2018.
- Merck said it recorded a “substantial gain” in its investment in Moderna, and still holds indirect exposure to Moderna through its investments in venture funds.
- Shares of Moderna initially traded lower on the news, but have since recovered in Wednesday trades.
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In a statement on Wednesday, Merck said it sold its equity stake in Moderna in the first half of the fourth quarter, adding that it achieved a “substantial gain” on its holdings.
Shares of Moderna traded down as much as 9% in early morning trades, but have since recovered as of Wednesday afternoon.
Merck initially invested $50 million in Moderna before it was public in 2015, and subsequently invested $125 million in the company in 2018. Moderna went public in late 2018.
Year-to-date through the start of the fourth quarter, shares of Moderna were up 255%. The stock has continued to rally in the fourth quarter, with Moderna hitting an all-time high of $178.50 in Tuesday’s trading session, representing year-to-date gains as high as 813%.
Merck said it still holds indirect exposure to Moderna’s equity through venture funds.
Merck did not specify how much it booked in profits on the investment. The company said it will record the gain in the “other income” section of its income statement when it reports earnings.
The two biotech companies continue to collaborate on potential cancer vaccine treatments.