The specialist in medical delivery technology, Catalent (CTLT) has been inching higher steadily, as those who are aware about the company’s important role in the availability of a COVID-19 cure have been buying the stock.

While the stock price of better famed peer Emergent BioSolutions (EBS) with three times more followers on Seeking Alpha has also being trending higher, its path has been somewhat more volatile. One of the factors that can explain this volatility is strong following by the retail trading crowd tracking COVID-19 vaccine news.

Figure 1: Comparing stock performance for Catalent and Emergent

ChartData by YCharts

This has not been the case with Catalent despite the company inking three manufacturing agreements with COVID-19 vaccine developers, including big names like Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN), to provide fill-finish capabilities.

Fill-finish manufacturing

Fill-finish is a lesser-known but crucial step between development of vaccine by biotechs and its availability for clinical trials in testing centers or, at a later stage, on a more widespread basis in hospitals and points of care for administration to patients. Fill-finishing basically involves putting the vaccines in vials or glass containers under strict hygiene or sterile conditions to prevent contamination.

Biotech companies resort to the likes of Catalent for this critical process, as any contamination would adversely impact efficacy of the vaccine and result in significant economic losses for them.

Now, for investors, an important question is whether Catalent will be able to honor its manufacturing contracts with these big names.

The answer is yes, for both drug substance manufacturing and drug product manufacturing capabilities both in the U.S. and Europe. Facilities include Bloomington for Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, as well as Anagni (Italy) for AstraZeneca, but there are other locations too.

Also, the fact that the company

And It’s Gone!

The last few months have been painful for small businesses across America. These businesses often have a difficult time getting a bank loan. Bubbling up to the surface is the recognition that the Fed has played a major role in pushing inequality higher. This was highlighted when Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell admitted it’s tough for the Fed to boost lending to smaller businesses. “Trying to underwrite the credit of hundreds of thousands of very small businesses would be very difficult,” Powell said. He acknowledged that many of these small loans are really nothing more than the personal promises of people struggling to keep the doors of their business open.

As the financial pain from the pandemic and government restrictions placed on businesses continue, much of the money thrown out to ease our pain has rapidly flowed into the hands of Wall Street and big business. The reality that most small businesses close in failure underlines the risk involved in loaning money to such concerns. Still, it is difficult to deny the importance of small business in the overall economy. It plays a major role in communities by both creating jobs and allowing individuals to better their lot in life.

During a recent exchange between House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Powell, it became evident that Powell was not rushing to implement changes in the way things are done in an effort to aid small businesses and level the playing field. Waters suggested the Fed and Treasury Department lower the minimum size of the loans under the Main Street Lending Program to $100,000 from the current $250,000 to help a larger number of small companies that have been hurt by the pandemic. Powell even went so far as to claim there was