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Moderna Stock Active After Smashing Q1 Earnings Forecast, Affirming Vaccine Sales Forecast

"Today, we are reiterating our signed advanced purchase agreements for 2022 of $21 billion," said CEO Stéphane Bancel.

Updated at 10:56 am EST

Moderna  (MRNA) -  shares surged higher Wednesday after the drugmaker posted much stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings while re-affirming its full-year forecast for Covid vaccine sales.

Moderna posted diluted GAAP earnings of $8.58 per share for the three months ending in March, up more than three-fold from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $5.21 per share. Group revenues also firmly topped analysts' estimates, coming in at $6.1 billion. Around 975 of that tally came from Covid vaccine sales.

Looking into the 2022 calendar year, Moderna said it sees total product sales -- including its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine Spikevax -- in the region of $21 billion. with orders weighted slightly into the second half of the year. 

Pfizer also reiterated forecasts for sales of its Comirnaty Covid vaccine during yesterday's Q1 earnings release, with a full-year estimate of around $32 billion. 

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"The Moderna team delivered a strong Q1 performance and I am thankful for the progress our team continues to make as we advance our pipeline of mRNA medicines," said CEO Stéphane Bancel. "In the second quarter, we expect to have four programs in late-stage Phase 3 studies including our Omicron-containing bivalent COVID booster, seasonal flu, RSV and CMV vaccine candidates."

"We also look forward to advancing our therapeutic programs and sharing proof-of-concept readouts on our rare genetic disease programs for propionic acidemia and methylmalonic acidemia, and on our personalized cancer vaccine program this year," he added. "I would like to thank the global Moderna team for their commitment to our mission. mRNA has changed the future of medicine and I look forward to continuing our impact on human health. This is just the beginning."  

Moderna shares were marked 1.65% lower in early Wednesday trading following the earnings release to change hands at $144.12 each, a move that would leave the stock with a year-to-date decline of around 39%.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration authorized the use of a fourth shot of Covid vaccines developed by both Moderna and Pfizer  (PFE) -  in late March, for adults over the age of 50, as well as those with compromised immune systems

The FDA gave full and final approval to the drugmaker's 'Spikevax' Covid vaccine or patients 18 and older in late January, with the first Emergency Use Authorization coming in December of 2020.

Pfizer also reiterated forecasts for sales of its Comirnaty Covid vaccine during yesterday's Q1 earnings release, with a full-year estimate of around $32 billion.