The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine awaits administration at a vaccination clinic in Los Angeles, California on December 15, 2021.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
Moderna sold $5.9 billion of its Covid vaccine in the first quarter, shattering revenue and profit expectations.
Shares of the biotech company soared more than 7% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
Moderna stuck to its full-year guidance of $21 billion in Covid vaccine sales. Sales forecasts are based on signed agreements with governments and do not include any orders from the United States, so the final number could be higher.
Moderna’s first-quarter vaccine sales more than tripled from the same period last year, when it recorded sales of $1.7 billion shortly after the injections first rolled out. The Covid vaccine for adults 18 and older, Spikevax, is the company’s only commercially available product.
Moderna reported net income of $3.66 billion for the quarter, a threefold increase from $1.2 billion reported in the same period last year.
Here’s how the company performed against Wall Street expectations, based on average analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv:
- Adjusted EPS: $8.58 per share, vs. $5.21 expected
- Revenue: $6.07 billion, vs. $4.62 billion expected
CEO Stephane Bancel said he expects Moderna to see even stronger vaccine sales in the second half as governments order more vaccines to prepare for fall vaccination campaigns. Bancel said Moderna expects to receive regulatory approval in late summer for a redesigned vaccine that targets mutations on the omicron variant in addition to the original strain that emerged in Wuhan, China, in 2019. .
“The virus mutates to become more and more infectious, and the immunity wanes,” Bancel told CNBC in an interview on Squawk Box. “It’s going to be really important to stimulate people in the fall with a better matched vaccine, which is what we’re working towards.”
Current vaccines, which target the Wuhan strain, are becoming less effective at preventing mild disease as highly mutated variants like omicron evade antibodies that block infections. However, the injections still provide strong protection against serious illness and death.
The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee will meet on June 28 to discuss the need for the United States to adopt a redesigned vaccine that targets mutations in the virus.
Last week, Moderna asked the FDA to clear its two-dose vaccine for children six months to 5 years old, the only remaining age group in the United States not yet eligible for a vaccine. The biotech company is also asking the FDA to clear its injections for children ages 6 to 11 and teens ages 12 to 17. Moderna expects to complete submission of FDA applications for its pediatric vaccines within the next two weeks, according to a company press release.
The FDA advisory committee has set several dates in June to review submissions on Covid vaccines for children. Bancel told CNBC on Wednesday that Moderna was working on a June launch for the shots.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.