Duopharma share price climbs to record high as Covid-19 vaccine spurs sentiment

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 25): Duopharma Biotech Bhd's share price climbed as much as 61 sen or 18.05% to its record high at RM3.99 in early trade after the company said it already has a facility ready to undertake Covid-19 vaccine packaging.

At 11:06am, Duopharma's share price pared gains at RM3.95. The stock saw some 86 million shares traded.

CGS-CIMB Research analyst Syazwan Aiman Sobri wrote in a note to investors today that it gathered from Duopharma's recent analyst briefing that the group already has a Covid-19 vaccine packaging facility ready in Klang, Selangor.

"As it is already designed and validated for vaccine packaging (previously intended for meningitis vaccine packaging), we believe that the facility must only be revalidated for the potential Covid-19 vaccine, with no repurposing required.

"The facility has the capacity to package c.7m-10m vials a year. Assuming 10 doses per vial, this implies capacity of up to c.70m-100m doses per year,"  Syazwan said.

CGS-CIMB Research said Duopharma's valuations look lofty at current share price levels.

According to Syazwan, despite Duopharma's positive prospects, CGS-CIMB Research thinks Duopharma's share price, which translates into a 12-month forward price-earnings ratio of 34.3 times, has run ahead of its fundamentals.

"Maintain 'reduce' (call on Duopharma shares) on rich valuations, with target price unchanged at RM2.15," he said.

The research firm estimates Malaysia healthcare sector's weighted average price-earnings ratio for 2020 at 36.9 times.

CGS-CIMB Research's Malaysia healthcare sector coverage includes IHH Healthcare Bhd, KPJ Healthcare Bhd and Pharmaniaga Bhd.

Pharmaniaga's share price rose 98 sen or 18.6% at 11:06am to RM6.25 for a market capitalisation of RM1.64 billion. The stock saw some 22 million shares traded.

(Editing by Chong Jin Hun)