Thursday saw Moderna posting its fourth-quarter earnings report which showed that the brand beat on earnings and on revenue. Both revenues and earnings came in way beyond the forecast of analysts and the pharma company is expected to enjoy over $19 billion in revenue in 2022 as a result of its Covid-19 vaccine.
It was also a good day for Moderna shareholders as the brand launched a share repurchase program that will give $3 billion in excess capital back to investors. Such good news caused the stock price of Modern to rise by an impressive 11.4% in morning trading.
The pharmaceutical company earned revenues of $7.2 billion that was a marked improvement on the $570.7 million that Moderna posted in the same quarter of 2020. Of these revenues, 96% came from sales of its Covid-19 vaccine which saw 207 million doses sold in the final quarter of 2021. The vaccine was fully approved by the FDA in January 2022 after it was approved under the emergency-use provision in December 2020. Moderna’s Covid vaccine has also been given the green light in 70 other countries around the world.
While all are hoping that the peak of the virus has passed, it looks like it will be another busy year for Moderna. This is because there have been $19 billion in advanced purchase agreements for its vaccine already this year. There is expected to be a fourth booster of the vaccine to be introduced in the fall of 2022, and further orders are expected in 2023 from countries ranging from Canada to Taiwan.
Pharma companies going from strength to strength
With an unprecedented demand for vaccines as a result of the pandemic, several major pharmaceutical companies have enjoyed unparalleled profits over the past couple of years. The forces of Modern, Pfizer, BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson all managed to earn combined revenues of $31 billion in 2021.
Whether these impressive revenues can continue as the virus wanes remains another matter. While Moderna raised the guidance for its vaccine sales by $2 billion for 2022, the prevailing attitude is that the virus is shifting from the pandemic phase into an endemic phase. This refers to the hope that Covid-19 will lose its grip on the world’s population and will instead only be concentrated in certain geographical areas at a time.
However, there are still calls for a booster that targets the recent omicron and delta variants for when the flu season comes around in fall. What is uncertain is the question of when the vaccines take the inevitable step into the private market. Already there is plenty of discussion about how a move into the private market might stimulate price rises. However, as long as the Covid-19 virus still has the capacity to cause serious illness in large sections of the population, pharma companies like Moderna will continue to enjoy these impressive revenue streams.