A vial of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster vaccine, which targets BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, is pictured at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania September 8, 2022 .
Hannah Beier Reuters
Modern on Thursday missed fourth-quarter earnings guidance as costs rose from excess manufacturing capacity and lower demand for its Covid-19 vaccine, the company’s only product on the market.
Moderna reported quarterly earnings of $3.61 per share, down 68% from the same period in 2021 when it posted $11.29 per share. The number fell short of the $4.68 per share Wall Street had been expecting.
The Boston-based biotech generated sales of $5.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, in line with analysts’ expectations but down 30% from the same period in 2021.
Shares of Moderna fell more than 3% in premarket trading.
Moderna has signed deals for $5 billion worth of Covid vaccine supplies for 2023. The company expects additional sales in the US, Europe and Japan this year, but demand for the vaccines is falling as the pandemic subsides and vaccination is shifted to an annual schedule rather than repeat increases.
The US government also plans to stop buying shots for the public as early as this summer and move sourcing and distribution to the private market. Moderna estimates the U.S. market size at 100 million doses in fall 2023, said Arpa Garay, the company’s chief commercial officer.
Garay would not make any predictions about Moderna’s share of the US market in the fall of 2023. She said the company is currently in talks with customers about fall contracts.
Here’s how the company has performed versus Wall Street expectations, based on average analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv:
- Adjusted result: $3.61 per share versus $4.68 expected
- Revenue: $5.1 billion vs. $5 billion expected
Moderna sold $18.4 billion worth of vaccines in 2022, up 4% year over year and the company’s all-time high for sales during the pandemic. The company reported net income of $8.4 billion in 2022, down 31% from 2021.
The company said its costs rose 25% in the fourth quarter. Those expenses included a $297 million write-off for vaccines that have passed their shelf life, $376 million for unused manufacturing capacity, and a $400 million license fee to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases .
Though the Covid shot remains Moderna’s only product on the market, the company plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration to approve its vaccine, which protects older adults from the respiratory syncytial virus, in the first half of this year after a positive data screen . Moderna expects FDA approval in late 2023 or early 2024.
Garay said Moderna will use the infrastructure already in place for Covid to bring the RSV vaccine to market. She declined to provide details on how much Moderna will charge for the RSV vaccine, but said the company will ensure patients have access to the vaccine regardless of whether they can pay for it.
The FDA has also identified Moderna and Merck’s personalized cancer vaccine as a breakthrough therapy that could accelerate development and regulatory review of the vaccine.
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