Covid Moderna (MRNA) Q1 earnings 2022

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The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine awaits administration at a vaccination clinic in Los Angeles, California on December 15, 2021.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Moderna sold $5.9 billion of its Covid vaccine in the first quarter, blowing out revenue and profit expectations.

The biotech company’s shares soared by more than 7% in premarket trading on Wednesday.

Moderna maintained its full-year guidance of $21 billion in Covid vaccine sales. The sales guidance is based on signed agreements with governments and does not include any orders from the U.S., so the final number could come in higher.

Moderna’s first-quarter vaccine sales more than tripled over the same period last year, when it reported $1.7 billion in sales shortly after the shots first rolled out. The Covid vaccine for adults ages 18 and over, Spikevax, is the company’s only commercially available product.

Moderna reported $3.66 billion in net income for the quarter, a threefold increase over the $1.2 billion it reported in the same period last year.

Here’s how the company performed compared with what Wall Street expected, based on analysts’ average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted EPS: $8.58 per share, vs. $5.21 expected
  • Revenue: $6.07 billion, vs. $4.62 billion expected

CEO Stephane Bancel said he expects Moderna to book even stronger vaccine sales in the second half of the year as governments order more shots to get ready for fall vaccination campaigns. Bancel said Moderna expects to receive regulatory approval in late summer for a redesigned vaccine that targets the mutations on the omicron variant in addition to the original strain that emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019.

“The virus is mutating to become more and more infectious, and there’s waning immunity,” Bancel told CNBC in an interview on Squawk Box. “It is going to be really important to boost people in the fall with a better adapted vaccine which is what we’re working towards.”

The current vaccines, which target the Wuhan strain, are becoming less effective at preventing mild illness as highly mutated variants like omicron evade the antibodies that block infections. However, the shots are still providing strong protection against severe illness and death.

The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee will meet June 28 to discuss whether the U.S. needs to adopt a redesigned vaccine that targets mutations on the virus.

Last week, Moderna asked the FDA to authorize its two-dose vaccine for children six months to 5 years old, the only age group left in the U.S. that is not yet eligible for a shot. The biotech company is also asking the FDA to authorize its shots for for kids ages 6 to 11 and teenagers ages 12 to 17. Moderna expects to finish submitting FDA applications for its pediatric vaccines in the next two weeks, according to a company press release.

The FDA advisory committee has set several dates in June to review submissions on Covid vaccines for children. Bancel told CNBC on Wednesday that Moderna is working toward a June launch for the shots.

CNBC Health & Science

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This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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