Moderna Stock Tumbles on Earnings Miss and Lower COVID-19 Vaccine Sales Forecast

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
November 4, 2021 Updated: November 4, 2021

Moderna shares fell by more than 17 percent in early trading Thursday after the company slashed its COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast for 2021 by up to $5 billion and announced lower-than-expected third-quarter revenues and profits.

In an earnings announcement (pdf), released Nov. 4, Moderna reported total third-quarter revenue of $5 billion. While that was well above the $157 million in revenues in the comparable quarter a year ago, it missed analysts’ predictions of $6 billion.

The company also announced a third-quarter profit of $3.3 billion and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $7.70, against analysts’ forecasts of $8.99.

Moderna also cut its sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine for the year from a previous $20 billion to between $15 billion and $18 billion, blaming supply chain issues. The company said longer delivery lead times for international shipments could push some 2021 deliveries into next year, while also noting a temporary supply-side impact as it sought to expand bottling capacity.

Overall, Moderna expects to deliver between 700 million and 800 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for the year.

“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 percent of our 2021 volume and significantly more of our 2022 volume going to low-income countries,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.

In 2022, Moderna expects sales in the range of $17 billion to $22 billion. That’s driven in part by $17 billion worth of signed advance purchase agreements for delivery that year along with an expected COVID-19 vaccine booster market estimated at $2 billion.

Moderna shares were trading down 18.12 percent intraday, as of 12:29 p.m. New York time.

The earnings report comes several weeks after U.S. regulators authorized booster shots for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups of adults.

It also comes days after rival Pfizer reported better-than-expected sales and profits, on the back of soaring sales of its COVID-19 vaccine. In its Nov. 1 earnings report (pdf), Pfizer boasted third-quarter revenues of $24.1 billion, a 134 percent boost compared to the third quarter of 2020. Profits soared 133 percent to $7.7 billion in the third quarter compared to the same quarter the previous year, Pfizer said.

Sales of its COVID-19 vaccine—Comirnaty—accounted for $13.0 billion of revenues, or 54 percent.

The pharmaceutical giant also raised its full-year sales forecast to between $81 billion and $82 billion, up from a previous range of $78 billion to $80 billion.

Pfizer also boosted its full-year sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine by 7.5 percent to $36.0 billion, as it signs deals with countries for booster doses and receives clearances for using its shots in broader age groups.

Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'