Moderna’s sign is seen outside of their headquarters in Cambridge, MA on March 11, 2021.
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Moderna on Thursday blew past estimates for first-quarter earnings and revenue, posting a surprise quarterly profit, despite lower demand for Covid vaccines, its only marketable product.
The biotech company generated first-quarter sales of $1.9 billion, down from the $6.1 billion it reported the same period a year ago amid a resurgence of Covid cases.
Moderna posted net income of $79 million, or 19 cents per share, for the quarter. That’s compared with $3.66 billion in net income, or $8.58 per share, reported during the same quarter last year.
Here’s what Moderna reported compared with Wall Street’s expectations, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Earnings per share: 19 cents per share vs. $1.77 loss per share expected
- Revenue: $1.86 billion vs. $1.18 billion expected
Still, the Massachusetts-based company’s stock edged lower in premarket trading Thursday. Shares are down more than 27% for the year through Wednesday’s close, putting the company’s market value at around $50 billion.
Moderna maintained its full-year guidance of around $5 billion in revenue from its Covid vaccine, which will come from signed government contracts for the shot. The company added it was having discussions about new contracts with customers in Europe, Japan and in the U.S.
But Covid shot demand is still falling as the pandemic eases and the U.S. shifts to an annual vaccination schedule rather than repeated booster doses. That’s left Moderna and rival drugmaker Pfizer scrambling to pivot away from their Covid jabs, which made both companies household names during the peak of the pandemic.
For Moderna, that means beefing up its mRNA-based drug pipeline.
The company’s products utilize messenger RNA technology, which teaches human cells to produce a protein that initiates an immune response against a certain disease.
Moderna in April said it hopes to offer a new set of life-saving vaccines targeting cancer, heart disease and other conditions by 2030.
That lineup includes Moderna’s experimental vaccine that targets respiratory syncytial virus. The company expects to file for full approval of the shot for adults ages 60 and older this quarter.
It also includes Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccine, a highly anticipated mRNA shot being co-developed with Merck to target different tumor types. Moderna is also developing a flu vaccine, but the company said the shot did not meet the criteria for early success in a late-stage clinical trial.
Moderna will hold an earnings call at 8:00 am ET.
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