Health and Science

Moderna shares fall after Covid vaccine maker lowers 2022 sales outlook

Key Points
  • Moderna expects $18 billion to $19 billion in revenue from the Covid vaccine this year, down from its previous guidance of $21 billion.
  • The company had to slash guidance due to supply chain constraints that delayed some deliveries into 2023.
  • Moderna also missed revenue and earnings expectations for the quarter.

In this article

A vial of the Moderna coronavirus booster vaccine targeting BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants is pictured at Skippack Pharmacy in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, Sept. 8, 2022.
Hannah Beier | Reuters

Moderna on Thursday lowered its 2022 sales guidance for its Covid-19 vaccine after missing Wall Street expectations for the third quarter.

Moderna cut its guidance to between $18 billion and $19 billion in revenue from its Covid vaccine this year, down from its previous expectation of $21 billion. This is due to supply chain constraints that pushed some vaccine deliveries into 2023, according to the company.

Moderna's stock fell as much as 9% during trading, but came back and ultimately closed down less than 1% at $147.50.

CEO Stephane Bancel said Moderna's fill-and-finish contract manufacturers had to delay deliveries valued at $2 billion to $3 billion as they struggled to roll out two new products at the same time, an omicron BA.5 booster for the U.S. and a BA.1 shot for other parts of the world. The vaccine vials were also switched from 10 doses to five doses which created challenges, he said.

"We are working through a lot of those issues," Bancel told analysts during the company's earnings call. "There are many lessons to be learned. We are working on [...] robust fixes for the end of the year so that we are in a much better place for 2023."

Moderna's third quarter revenue was $3.36 billion, down 32% from the same period in 2021. The company booked net income of $1.04 billion for the quarter, down 68% year over year.

Its cash position was $17 billion, down slightly from $18.1 billion in the second quarter due to $1 billion in share buybacks and a federal tax payment of $800 million.

Here's how the company performed compared with what Wall Street expected, based on analysts' average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings: $2.53 per share vs. $3.29 expected
  • Revenue: $3.36 billion vs $3.53 billion expected

The Covid vaccine is still Moderna's only commercially available product. The company rolled out updated boosters that target the omicron BA.5 variant in the U.S in September.

Arpa Garay, Moderna's chief commercial officer, said the number of boosters administered so far is "fairly low," though uptake is tracking a pattern similar to the fall of 2021.

As Covid becomes endemic, Moderna expects annual global demand for the vaccines will be similar to demand for flu shots if not higher because Covid is a more severe virus than the flu.

This means annual demand for Covid shots could be somewhere around 600 million doses though it's still too early to give a reliable predication, according to Garay.

Moderna did recently announce a partnership with Merck to develop a personalized cancer vaccine with data expected in the fourth quarter.

The company is expecting phase three efficacy data from its respiratory syncytial virus vaccine candidate this winter. It is also expecting phase three immune response data from its flu vaccine candidate in the first quarter of 2023.