Gaithersburg’s Novavax Could Reach the Fortune 500 List
Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX), the Montgomery County biotech that’s now distributing its NVX-CoV2373 COVID-19 vaccine around the world, released its 2021 fourth quarter and full year financial report after the closing of the stock market today.
While the Gaithersburg-based company largely missed analyst estimates, the financial guidance for the coming year was one bright spot and it indicates that the true measure of the company's efforts will show in financial reporting for the first quarter of 2022.
Additionally, management at Novavax have forecast annual revenues of between $4 billion to $5 billion for 2022. The revenue amount at the high-end of the range would have the company just missing the Fortune 500 list if it were ranked last year.
But the forecast doesn’t take into account an expected authorization for distribution of its vaccine from the Japanese government and the highly anticipated authorization from the United States, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The company has secured distribution of 110 million doses in the U.S. and 150 million doses in Japan, respectively.
If it should fulfill its goal, Novavax would join the ranks of other publicly traded companies in Montgomery County such as Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Marriott International (NYSE: MAR). It would also follow the recent additions of T.Rowe Price Group (NASDAQ: TROW), McCormick & Company (NYSE: MKC) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI) from the Baltimore area.
The addition of Novavax to the Fortune 500 list would make it the largest biotech in the Washington, D.C. area by far and could be a sorely needed large-cap and homegrown commercial anchor for Maryland’s biotech industry.
Just over a month ago, Constellation Energy (NASDAQ: CEG) was the latest addition to Maryland’s Fortune 500 list, the company was spun-off from Chicago-based Exelon Corp. (Nasdaq: EXC). Exelon acquired Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and former D.C.-based Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) back in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Pepco became a subsidiary of Exelon, making D.C. lose the Fortune 500.
If the Constellation name sounds familiar, that’s because it was the owner of BGE and Baltimore largest Fortune 500 before it was sold to Exelon in a move orchestrated by then CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III. He will retire as Chairman of Exelon’s board of directors on April 26 following the Exelon and Constellation split.
The return of Constellation to Baltimore is a rare occurrence that once again makes it the largest Fortune 500 (measured by revenues) in its metropolitan area.
Novavax too could see a growing future if management is able to bring in revenues from not only its Nuvaxovid and Covovax vaccines, but also by bringing to market other drugs in its pipeline such as its COVID/ Influenza combo vaccine and NanoFlu. With a large part of its global infrastructure in place, the next important part in its journey is becoming a speedier company that has learned from its experience.