Moderna Stock Plunges as Vaccine Sales, Earnings, Miss Forecasts – Barrons

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Vials of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.


Guillaume Souvant/AFP via Getty Images




Moderna

shares plunged 12.3% in premarket trading on Thursday after sales of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine fell short of Wall Street analysts’ estimates by more than a billion dollars.

The company reported total revenue of $5 billion for the third quarter of the year, 20% short of the FactSet analyst consensus estimate of $6.2 billion. Spikevax,




Moderna

‘s (ticker: MRNA) Covid-19 vaccine, is the company’s only product.

The report comes two days after




Pfizer

(PFE) said it had sold $13 billion of its Covid-19 vaccine in the third quarter, blowing past the $10.9 billion FactSet analyst consensus estimate.

Moderna’s third-quarter disappointment further cements




Pfizer

‘s place as the dominant player in the Covid-19 vaccine market in the U.S. and Europe. Pfizer said Tuesday that its share of the Covid-19 vaccine market in the U.S. is now 75%, up from 56% in April.

Pfizer has snapped up the first authorizations for Covid-19 booster shots, and the vaccination of teenagers and of children. While Moderna’s booster is now authorized, Pfizer’s remains the only vaccine available in the U.S. for people under 18.

“We will not rest until our vaccine is available to anyone who needs it, and we are working hard to ensure our vaccine is available in low-income countries with approximately 10% of our 2021 volume and significantly more of our 2022 volume going to low-income countries,” said Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, in a statement. “It is promising to see the real-world evidence showing that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shows sustainably high, durable efficacy.”

Moderna reported diluted earnings of $7.70 per share, well short of the S&P Capital IQ Consensus estimate of $9.42. The company reported net income of $3.3 billion.

Moderna now expects sales of between $15 billion and $18 billion this year, down from its previous estimate of $20 billion. The company attributed the drop to some deliveries being shifted to early 2022, and to “prioritization of deliveries to low-income countries.” It said it plans to deliver between 700 million and 800 million Covid-19 vaccine doses this year.

Moderna shares were up 231.1% so far this year as of the close of the market on Wednesday, and 383.9% over the past 12 months.

The company highlighted its deep bench of pipeline programs in its earnings release, though investor focus will likely be on the shortfalls on the top and bottom lines.

Moderna said it has signed $17 billion worth of purchase agreements for delivery of its Covid-19 vaccine in 2022. It also said it expects booster sales of up to $2 billion on the commercial market next fall. So far, all Covid-19 vaccine sales have been to governments; there is currently no Covid-19 vaccine commercial market.

The company said it expects 2022 sales of between $17 billion and $22 billion, in line with the FactSet consensus estimate of $21.4 billion.

Also on Thursday, Moderna announced that the Food and Drug Administration had granted priority review status for its application for full approval for Spikevax under an FDA program that accelerates the review of an application. The company said the FDA will aim to decide on full approval for the vaccine by April.

Moderna also announced initial data from a Phase 2/3 study of the Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 11. The company said that two weeks after a single dose of the vaccine, efficacy against symptomatic disease was 100%, while efficacy against asymptomatic infection was 65%. Details on the data were scant.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a pediatric formulation of Pfizer’s vaccine for use in children aged 6 to 11, initiating a rollout that will be fully under way next week. Moderna’s vaccine remains available only to adults aged 18 and above.

On Sunday, company said that the FDA had told it Friday that it needs more time to assess its application for emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine in teenagers aged 12 to 17, as it evaluated new data on the risk of myocarditis after vaccination with messenger RNA-based vaccines.

The FDA review of myocarditis data won’t be complete before January, Moderna said.

A conference call for investors is scheduled for 8 a.m. Eastern time.

Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at josh.nathan-kazis@barrons.com

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