Moderna Reports Smaller Than Expected Q1 Loss, Prepares For RSV Vaccine And Spikevax 2024-2025 Formula, Stock Soars

Zinger Key Points
  • Moderna cut research and development expenses by 6% in the quarter due mainly to the absence of upfront collaboration payments.
  • Moderna reaffirmed its 2024 sales expectations of around $4 billion from its respiratory franchise.

Thursday, Moderna Inc MRNA reported a first-quarter EPS loss of $(3.07), down from an income of $(0.19), smaller than the consensus estimate loss of $(3.55).

The company reported sales of $167 million, sharply below $1.9 billion a year ago due to evaporating COVID-19 vaccine sales, beating the consensus of $97.5 million.

The company cut research and development expenses by 6% in the quarter, mainly due to the absence of upfront collaboration payments. 

Moderna added that clinical development and manufacturing expenses also decreased, driven by lower spending on clinical trials for the company’s COVID-19, RSV, and seasonal flu programs, which aligns with its planned trial schedules.

Related: Declining COVID-19 Vaccine Sales Pinches Moderna, Pauses Kenya Vaccine Plant Plans.

Citing Jefferies analyst, Bloomberg highlighted it “a good sign if they can continue to manage expenses, which has been a big sticking point for investors.”

Bloomberg notes that Moderna’s latest financial report highlights its cost-saving efforts amid the declining demand for COVID-19 vaccines as the pandemic wanes. 

Anticipated vaccine sales peak in the latter half of the year, coinciding with the onset of the cold weather virus season.

“Uncertainty remains around the near-term outlook, which is largely tied to COVID and could potentially limit near-term outperformance,” Bloomberg writes, citing a JP Morgan analyst.

“We’re looking very carefully at all investments,” Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said Thursday on Bloomberg Television.

Tucked in its press release, Moderna said it agreed to end a gene editing collaboration with biotech company Metagenomi Inc MGX as it “continues to strategically prioritize its research and development investments.”

Moderna added that following a strategic review, the company is discontinuing the development of its preclinical PD-L1 program (mRNA-6981) and is no longer evaluating other mRNA candidates in this area.

Guidance: Moderna reaffirmed its 2024 sales expectations of around $4 billion versus the consensus of $4.21 billion from its respiratory franchise and expects approximately $0.3 billion in net sales in 1h in 2024, reflecting the seasonality of the respiratory business.

Read Next: Moderna Faces Pfizer, BioNTech in London Patent Battle over Covid-19 Vaccines In Legal Showdown.

Price Action: MRNA shares are up 9.94% at $122.50 at the last check Thursday.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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