Moderna Beats Q1 Loss Expectations, Stock Surges on RSV and Spikevax Plans


On Thursday, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) unveiled its first-quarter earnings report, surprising analysts with a smaller-than-anticipated EPS loss of $(3.07), compared to the consensus estimate loss of $(3.55). This marked a significant improvement from the previous year’s $(0.19) income.

Despite a notable decline in sales to $167 million, down from $1.9 billion a year ago due to reduced COVID-19 vaccine demand, Moderna managed to exceed expectations, beating the consensus of $97.5 million in sales. The company attributed this performance to cost-saving measures, including a 6% reduction in research and development expenses, primarily due to the absence of upfront collaboration payments.

Moderna’s prudent spending drew praise from analysts, with Jefferies highlighting it as “a good sign” for investors. Bloomberg emphasized the significance of Moderna’s cost-saving efforts amidst the pandemic-induced decline in vaccine demand, noting that anticipated peak vaccine sales align with the upcoming cold weather virus season.

However, uncertainty persists regarding the near-term outlook, particularly tied to COVID-19 dynamics, according to a JP Morgan analyst. Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing a cautious approach to investments during an interview on Bloomberg Television.

In a strategic move, Moderna announced the termination of its gene editing collaboration with Metagenomi Inc (NASDAQ:MGX) to reallocate resources to core research and development initiatives. Additionally, the company disclosed the discontinuation of its preclinical PD-L1 program (mRNA-6981) and other mRNA candidates in this area following a strategic review.

Looking ahead, Moderna reaffirmed its 2024 sales expectations of approximately $4 billion, driven by its respiratory franchise. The company anticipates around $0.3 billion in net sales in the first half of 2024, reflecting the seasonal nature of the respiratory business.

With promising developments on the horizon, including the preparation for the RSV vaccine and the Spikevax 2024-2025 formula, Moderna’s robust performance and strategic decisions have fueled investor optimism, sending its stock soaring.

Featured Image: Megapixl

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