Monday 16 November 2020 1:15 pm

Cineworld shares soar on Moderna coronavirus vaccine breakthrough

Cineworld’s share price soared this morning following a second coronavirus vaccine breakthrough on hopes that an end to the pandemic could save the struggling entertainment firm. 

The cinema chain’s stock rose as much as 21 per cent after US biotechnology company Moderna announced that early data suggested that its Covid-19 vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective.

Cineworld’s share price is up 16.74 per cent at 51.8p following the initial surge. 

The London-listed company last month closed all of its 128 theatres in the UK and Ireland after movie studios delayed big budget releases, such as the latest James Bond firm No Time to Die. 

It did not set out a timeline for reopening, but said it would “continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations once film studios are able to bring their pipeline of major movie releases back to the big screen”. 

In September Cineworld posted revenue of $712.4m in the six months to the end of June, down 67 per cent on last year.

It swung to a pre-tax loss of $1.6bn, compared to a $139.7m profit in 2019 following the forced closure of all of its venues during coronavirus lockdowns around the world. 

The beleaguered company’s shares rallied last week after US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer announced that its vaccine is 90 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19. 

The roll-out of a working vaccine would allow cinemas to resume operations.

The UK government does not currently have a deal with Moderna to purchase doses as it did with Pfizer, but is in negotiations.