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Moderna (MRNA) vs. Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD): Which Biotech Stock Should You Add to Your Portfolio?

Healthcare is considered a reliable defensive sector. So, amid the current uncertain economic landscape, let's determine the more favorable investment option between two prominent pharmaceutical companies, Moderna (MRNA) and Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD). Keep reading...

In this article, I have evaluated two biotech stocks, Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) and Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (FOLD), to determine which has better upside potential. Based on the fundamental comparison of these stocks, I find FOLD a better addition to one's portfolio.

The biotechnology market is expanding due to increasing cases of target diseases and genetic disorders, along with advancements in PCR technologies and portable instruments. The global biotechnology market is poised to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% until 2030.

Moreover, the rise of personalized medicine and orphan drug formulations is creating new opportunities, attracting biotech companies, and boosting market revenue. Additionally, government support for modernizing regulations, treatment approvals, and clinical studies is further facilitating the growth of the biotech industry.

The global personalized medicine market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% until 2030.

Regarding price performance, FOLD is the clear winner, with a 13.5% gain compared to MRNA’s 43.7% decline year-to-date. FOLD has gained 14.9% over the past month, while MRNA has declined 14.9%. Moreover, FOLD has soared 28.7% in the past nine months, while MRNA has plummeted 38.3%.

Here are the reasons I think FOLD could perform better in the near term:

Latest Developments

On July 26, 2023, MRNA and Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) announced the initiation of the pivotal Phase 3 randomized V940-001 clinical trial evaluating V940 (mRNA-4157), an investigational individualized neoantigen therapy (INT), in combination with KEYTRUDA, Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, as an adjuvant treatment in patients with resected high-risk (Stage IIB-IV) melanoma. Global recruitment in V940-001 has begun, and the first patients are now enrolling in Australia.

On the other side, on June 27, FOLD announced that the European Commission (EC) had approved Opfolda® (miglustat) 65mg capsules, an enzyme stabilizer of cipaglucosidase alfa, a long-term enzyme replacement therapy for adults with late-onset Pompe disease. Pombiliti® (cipaglucosidase alfa) was previously approved by the EC in March 2023.

Pompe disease is an inherited lysosomal disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme acid α-glucosidase (GAA). FOLD plans to immediately launch Pombiliti + Opfolda in Germany and is commencing reimbursement processes with healthcare authorities in other European countries.

Recent Financial Results

MRNA’s total revenue for the fiscal second quarter that ended June 30, 2023, decreased 92.8% year-over-year to $344 million. Its loss from operations amounted to $1.87 billion. The company reported a net loss of $1.38 billion, compared to an income of $2.20 billion in the year-ago quarter. Its loss per share amounted to $3.62, compared to an EPS of $5.24 in the previous-year quarter.

Conversely, during the fiscal second quarter that ended June 30, 2023, FOLD’s net product sales rose 17.1% year-over-year to $94.50 million. Its gross profit grew 17.7% from the previous-year quarter to $85.39 million. Moreover, the company’s operating expenses declined 21.7% year-over-year to $104.25 million.

Past and Expected Financial Performance

MRNA’s revenue grew at a CAGR of 364.8% over the past five years. The company’s EPS is expected to decline 66.6% in the next quarter and 14.5% next year. Its revenue is likely to decrease 52.2% in the current quarter, 32.1% in the next quarter, and 62.7% this year.

On the other hand, FOLD’s revenue grew at a CAGR of 46.8% over the past five years. The company’s EPS is expected to rise 43.1% in the current quarter, 73.7% in the next quarter, and 49.5% in the current year. Its revenue is expected to increase 25.4% in the current quarter, 32.7% in the next quarter, and 21.1% in the current year.

Profitability

FOLD’s gross profit margin of 88.73% is higher than MRNA’s 26.11%. Moreover, FOLD and MRNA have the same asset turnover ratio of 0.44x.

Thus, FOLD is more profitable.

Valuation

In terms of forward P/S, MRNA is currently trading at 5.39x, which is lower than FOLD’s 9.07x. Moreover, MRNA’s forward EV/S multiple of 3.51 is more elevated than FOLD’s 9.54.

So, MRNA is relatively affordable here.

POWR Ratings

MRNA has an overall rating of C, which equates to a Neutral in our proprietary POWR Ratings system. On the other hand, FOLD has an overall rating of B, which translates to a Buy. The POWR Ratings are calculated considering 118 distinct factors, with each factor weighted to an optimal degree.

Our proprietary rating system also evaluates each stock based on eight distinct categories. MRNA has an F grade for Growth, which is justified by its deteriorating financials in the most recent quarter. However, FOLD’s B grade in Growth is in sync with robust financial performance in the recent quarter.

Among the 390 stocks in the Biotech industry, MRNA is ranked #140, while FOLD is ranked #25.

Beyond what is stated above, we have also rated the stocks for Value, Momentum, Stability, Quality, and Sentiment. Click here to view all the MRNA ratings. Also, access all the FOLD ratings here.

The Winner

Robust expansion characterizes the biotech sector, primarily propelled by the surge of emerging, innovative technologies and government-sponsored investments. Moreover, the industry remains relatively stable in the face of economic uncertainty due to inelastic demand for its products and services.

Although both MRNA and FOLD are anticipated to grow, the latter might be the preferable choice owing to its higher profit margins and healthy financial performance in the most recent quarter.

Our research shows that the odds of success increase when one invests in stocks with an Overall Rating of Strong Buy or Buy. View all the other top-rated stocks in the Biotech industry here.

What To Do Next?

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FOLD shares were trading at $13.65 per share on Wednesday morning, down $0.21 (-1.52%). Year-to-date, FOLD has gained 11.79%, versus a 18.16% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.



About the Author: Kritika Sarmah

Her interest in risky instruments and passion for writing made Kritika an analyst and financial journalist. She earned her bachelor's degree in commerce and is currently pursuing the CFA program. With her fundamental approach, she aims to help investors identify untapped investment opportunities.

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