Moderna Soars 15% on Stellar Q4 Results

Biotechnology behemoth Moderna Inc. (MRNA) reported stellar fourth quarter and full-year fiscal 2021 results, outpacing both revenue and earnings expectations by a huge margin.  

Shares soared 15.1% on the news closing at $156.23 on February 24. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax, has received full U.S. FDA approval, and its revenue was boosted majorly by Spikevax-related sales. Yet, shares of one of the best coronavirus vaccine stocks, MRNA, lost 33.5% year-to-date vis-à-vis gaining 5.3% over the past year.

Additionally, the company’s board of directors announced a new share buyback program of $3 billion.

Stellar Results

Moderna’s Q4-diluted earnings of $11.29 came in significantly higher than analysts’ estimates of $9.90 per share. Moderna reported a diluted loss of $0.69 per share.

Similarly, quarterly revenue of $7.21 billion considerably outpaced Street estimates of $6.78 billion, and was much higher compared to Q4FY20 revenue of $571 million. The company saw its revenue jump with the sales of Spikevax, which were very meager in the last year quarter.

In Q4FY21, Moderna sold 297 million doses of Spikevax, generating $6.93 billion in sales, compared to just 13 million sold in Q4FY20, which contributed $200 million in sales.

For FY21, Moderna delivered a record diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $28.29, compared to a loss of $1.96 in FY20. Further, FY21 revenue of $18.47 billion came in much higher than FY20 revenue of $803 million. In 2021, Moderna sold a total of 807 million doses of Spikevax, contributing $17.67 billion in revenue.

FY22 Outlook 

Looking ahead, the company said that it has signed $19 billion worth of Advanced Purchase Agreements (APAs) for 2022, with an additional $3 billion in options, which translates into a sales figure of $22 billion from the sale of Spikevax alone.

Moreover, the company is also in talks with various governments for a fourth booster dose of the vaccine in the fall of 2022 and one more in 2023, which could boost its sales further.

According to the company, the COVID-19 virus will evolve into an endemic stage in 2022, thus boosting sales in the second half of 2022. For 2023, the company has already received firm orders from the United Kingdom, Canada, Taiwan, and Kuwait.

Notably, the company has announced a new bivalent booster candidate, which combines Moderna’s Omicron-specific candidate and mRNA-1273.

CEO Comments

Elated with the company’s performance, Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, said, “We continue to expand and advance our industry-leading mRNA pipeline with 44 programs in development. We look forward to clinical readouts from our therapeutics development candidates later in 2022 in rare genetic diseases and oncology. We are entering 2022 with a remarkable team and strategic priorities to continue advancing mRNA vaccines and therapeutics to impact human health.”

Analysts’ View

Encouraged by Moderna’s results and future outlook, Goldman Sachs analyst Salveen Richter reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $397, which implies a whopping 154.1% upside potential to current levels.

Richter noted that she expects Moderna to sign further APAs in 2022 in tandem with the company’s comments, which will accelerate the company’s growth going forward.

Overall, the MRNA stock has a Hold consensus rating based on 4 Buys, 9 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average Moderna price target of $265.20 implies 69.8% upside potential to current levels.

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