Emergent Bio Plunges 14% Post-Market After Directors Divest Shares

Shares in Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS) dropped 14% in Friday’s after-hours trading following the disclosure of two of its directors divesting shares.

According to a SEC filing, Emergent Director Ronald Richard sold 6,572 shares on Wednesday at an average price of $87.514, for a total of about $575,142. Following the share sale Richard owns 4,269 shares. The stock rose 2.5% to $86.91 on Friday before dropping to $75 in post-market trading.

In addition, Director Sue Bailey divested 5,322 shares at an average price of $87.503, generating about $465,691 from the sale. Bailey now still has 37,260 shares in the company.

Earlier this month, Emergent BioSolutions announced that it is joining the U.S. government’s warp speed program in a public-private partnership for COVID-19 vaccine development and production. The task order valued at about $628 million is for rapid domestic manufacturing of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates through 2021. The global life sciences company will provide molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services and commit to manufacturing capacity, valued at about $542.7 million.

Shares in Emergent have this year already soared 61%. Despite the rally, Guggenheim analyst Dana Flanders still sees room for more gains ahead.

Following the task order, Flanders last week raised the stock’s price target to $101 (16% upside potential) from $81 and keept a Buy rating.

This “landmark” partnership is “tangible evidence” of Emergent’s contract development and manufacturing organization and capability, Flanders wrote in a note to investors, adding that he believes that the CDMO business opportunity is growing and durable.

Overall, the stock boasts 4 Buy ratings versus 1 Hold rating adding up to a Strong Buy consensus. Meanwhile, the $88 average analyst price target sees little upside potential for the shares in the next 12 months. (See EBS stock analysis on TipRanks).

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