Moderna Faces Uncertainty in Transition to Commercial Covid-19 Vaccine Market

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Moderna is preparing to release its second-quarter earnings amid a significant turning point for the company. As it ventures into the commercial Covid-19 vaccine market, questions have arisen concerning the ongoing demand for the vaccines, three years after their initial launch.

Dim Financial Outlook

According to FactSet, analysts predict Moderna (ticker: MRNA) will report losses of $3.93 per share for the quarter, with revenues amounting to a modest $308 million. Comparatively, the same quarter in the previous year yielded revenues of $4.7 billion for the company.

Although Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has become one of the best-selling medicines in history, generating an impressive $18.4 billion in sales last year, the organization currently lacks other marketed products. Despite this, Moderna anticipates earning at least $5 billion from Covid-19 vaccine sales in 2023. For this year, analysts project sales totaling $7.1 billion, based on FactSet data.

Financial Performance and Shareholder Discontent

Moderna shares have experienced a stark decline of nearly 40% this year, while the overall performance of the S&P 500 index has shown an increase of nearly 20%.

Anticipating Commercial Sales

Earlier this year, Moderna projected Covid-19 vaccine sales ranging between $200 million and $300 million during the second quarter. The company plans to launch an updated version of their vaccine in autumn, marking the commencement of commercial sales. Since late 2020, all Covid-19 vaccines in the U.S. have been financed by the federal government. However, this changed earlier in 2022, and the government is currently working through its remaining vaccine supply.

As Moderna navigates this critical period, it must strategize its approach to successfully transition into the commercial Covid-19 vaccine market.

Moderna’s Market Position and Future Plans

Moderna, a notable player in the Covid-19 vaccine arena, recently highlighted the uncertain nature of the U.S. vaccine market during its earnings presentation. Although uptake has been lower than anticipated this year, Pfizer remains slightly ahead of its expected market share. In response, Pfizer has expressed intentions to implement cost-cutting measures should Covid-19 vaccine and therapeutic sales not meet expectations by year-end.

Conversely, Moderna finds itself in a unique position. While its Covid-19 vaccine, Spikevax, has been successfully introduced as the company’s inaugural product, no additional launches are projected for this year. Nevertheless, Moderna possesses an extensive pipeline encompassing several late-stage programs.

One standout offering in Moderna’s pipeline is a potential respiratory syncytial virus vaccine that is slated for a 2024 release. This product will compete directly with new RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK. Additionally, Moderna anticipates the release of fresh data regarding its messenger RNA-based influenza vaccine later this year. Furthermore, in collaboration with Merck, Moderna recently initiated a Phase 3 study for its promising cancer treatment, mRNA-4157.

To shed further light on its financial results and discuss its future trajectory, Moderna has scheduled an investor call for Thursday at 8 a.m.

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