Moderna 's reduction in its Covid vaccine sales forecast for this year serves as a reminder to investors about some risks of investing in less-established companies, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday. "This has turned out to be a young company," Cramer said on " Squawk on the Street. " " Pfizer — not a young company, Merck — not a young company, they seem to know how to handle volume." Moderna was founded in 2010. Pfizer and U.S.-based Merck, on the other hand, trace their origins back to the mid- and late 1800s, respectively. Shares of Moderna fell 18% on Thursday after the company said some doses for delivery this year have been shifted to early 2022 due to production problems. Moderna now expects Covid vaccine sales in 2021 of between $15 billion and $18 billion, down from an earlier projection of $20 billion. The company also reported lower-than-expected adjusted third-quarter earnings and revenue. By comparison, Pfizer on Tuesday reported better-than-expected adjusted third-quarter earnings and revenue, saying it expects its Covid vaccine sales to reach $36 billion this year. "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 that accompanied the company's earnings release. Echoing Bancel's sentiments, Cramer said that because Moderna is still young, it deserves credit for what it's accomplished, and investors shouldn't fret too much considering the stock's incredible run in the past 12 months. Indeed, its shares are up more than 300% over the last 12 months and have gained over 170% in 2021. "It does remind you that when you're investing with a young company, you have to accept the fact that maybe they could cut their forecasts without reasoning," Cramer said. "I guess what I'm saying is, let's look at them a little more kindly." Shares of the rival Covid vaccine makers Moderna and Pfizer took a beating in early October, when Merck announced positive results for its oral antiviral Covid pill , which was just approved for use in the United Kingdom . Health regulators in the U.S. are scheduled later this month to evaluate the drug, which was developed jointly with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Correction: An earlier version misstated the status of Moderna's vaccine.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC