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COVID-19 vaccine sales push Moderna past expectations in Q2

AP – Better-than-expected COVID-19 vaccine sales pushed Moderna past Wall Street’s second-quarter forecasts.

The company said that its Spikevax vaccine brought in USD4.53 billion during the quarter.

Analysts were looking for around USD3.6 billion, according to FactSet.

Moderna shares surged on Wednesday after the company also announced another USD3 billion share buyback plan.

Moderna’s vaccine sales in the second quarter represent a drop from the nearly USD6 billion that the vaccine brought in during the year’s first quarter, when a virus surge through the United States (US) pushed more people to seek protection.

But those sales could pick up again later this year.

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. PHOTO: AP

Moderna has developed an updated version of its vaccine for a fall booster campaign that combines the original shot with protection against the Omicron variant.

The company announced last week that it reached a deal with the US government for an initial purchase of 66 million doses of the booster shot for up to USD1.74 billion. The government also has an option to purchase more doses.

The COVID-19 vaccine is Moderna’s main source of revenue, outside of grants and money from collaborations. Total revenue climbed nine per cent in the second quarter to USD4.75 billion.

But operating expenses also swelled 78 per cent to USD2.3 billion for the vaccine maker, which has several products in late-stage clinical trials, the most expensive phase of research.

Moderna had USD499 million in inventory write-downs in the quarter tied to vaccine doses that exceeded or were expected to exceed their shelf lives before being used. The company also said it booked another loss and an expense for unused manufacturing capacity due partly to a “substantial reduction” in expected deliveries to the COVAX vaccine-sharing programme.

Overall, net income plunged 21 per cent to USD2.2 billion in the second quarter, and earnings totalled USD5.24 per share.

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