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3 ETFs For More Moderna Bets

Shares of biotechnology company Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) jumped 20% Monday on news that its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine candidate is making positive progress.

Benzinga · 05/19/2020 13:29

Shares of biotechnology company Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) jumped 20% Monday on news that its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine candidate is making positive progress.

Those headlines prompted some analysts to say Moderna could be the first to market with a credible vaccine for the sometimes-fatal respiratory illness, and with those comments came at least a trio of bullish price target revisions into triple-digit territory.

For all the ebullience surrounding Moderna this year — and there's been plenty as highlighted by a 2020 climb of 309% — the stock isn't often mentioned in relation to exchange traded funds.

A few ETFs have robust Moderna holdings. The stock closed at $80 Monday, and with some price targets residing in the $100 to $105 area, there could be more upside ahead, meaning the following ETFs could be worth considering.

Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (CNCR)

Sixty-two ETFs have some exposure to Moderna, but the average weight to the stock among those funds is just 1.6% — barely enough to move the needle. The Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF (NASDAQ: CNCR) is one of just two of those funds to have a double-digit Moderna weight, and that proved meaningful Monday when the ETF jumped more than 5% on volume that was more than double the daily average on its way to another all-time high.

What makes CNCR interesting and important is that the fund isn't designed to be a coronavirus play. That's meaningful because investors need to evaluate the credibility of some biotechnology ETFs in preparation of a world where COVID-19 isn't the issue of the day.

“The Cancer Immunotherapy ETF offers exposure to a basket of companies that develop therapies to treat cancer by harnessing the body's own immune system,” according to the issuer. “Immunotherapy is a transformational field within the biotechnology space that may have a foundational impact on cancer care.”

iShares Genomics Immunology and Healthcare ETF (IDNA)

The iShares Genomics Immunology and Healthcare ETF (NYSE: IDNA) is another king of the Moderna ETF space with a weight to the stock of about 12% as of May 15.

IDNA, which follows the NYSE FactSet Global Genomics and Immuno Biopharma Index, turns one year old next month and is making the most of Moderna being its top holding. The fund is higher by 18.43% year-to-date and hit another record higher on Monday courtesy of the Moderna rally.

Principal Healthcare Innovators Index ETF (BTEC)

The Principal Healthcare Innovators Index ETF (NASDAQ: BTEC) was highlighted here earlier this month. It doesn't hurt that the Principal fund now devotes more than 5% of its weight to Moderna and counts the stock as its largest holding.

The good news for BTEC, and the explanation for its prior mention in this space, is that it offers a broad-based portfolio that can prove durable regardless of how a single stock performs.