Moderna Shares Fall After Company Cuts 2021 Forecast for Covid Vaccine Sales

Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
  • Moderna shares fell Thursday after it cut its Covid-19 vaccine sales forecast for the year.
  • The drugmaker missed earnings and revenue expectations for the third quarter.

Moderna shares fell by more than 16% on Thursday after it cut its Covid-19 vaccine sales forecast for the year and missed earnings and revenue expectations for the third quarter.

The company said some doses for delivery this year have been shifted to early 2022 amid production issues and as it prioritizes deliveries to low-income countries through COVAX, the U.N.-backed effort to share coronavirus vaccines. It now expects Covid vaccine sales of between $15 billion and $18 billion this year, down from an earlier projection of $20 billion.

In releasing its third-quarter earnings, Moderna said it is now expecting to deliver between 700 million and 800 million doses this year, down from its previous expectations of between 800 million and 1 billion doses. The company also said it projects sales of $17 billion to $22 billion in 2022.

By comparison, Pfizer has said it expects Covid vaccine sales of $36 billion this year and $29 billion in 2022.

Here's how Moderna did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • EPS: $7.70 per share versus $9.05 per share expected
  • Revenue: $4.97 billion versus $6.21 billion expected

"We are humbled to have helped hundreds of millions of people around the world with our COVID-19 vaccine and yet we know our work is not done," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.

He said the company is working to ensure the vaccine is available in low-income countries by providing approximately 10% of its 2021 volume to them, and "significantly more" volume next year. 

On a post-earnings call with investors, Bancel said the company's supply chain became "more complex," impacting international deliveries of its vaccine.

"We've increased deliveries to many countries around the world," he said. "At the beginning of the year, we supplied to just a few large countries."

Moderna Chief Financial Officer David Meline said the company continues to scale up its production network and is "working to achieve an increase quarter-over-quarter improvement starting in Q4."

Moderna's Covid vaccine is the company's only commercialized product. The earnings report comes two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of Moderna's vaccine to tens of millions of Americans.

The company said Thursday it anticipates commercial booster market sales could be up to $2 billion in 2022.

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