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Is a Beat Likely for Moderna (MRNA) This Earnings Season?

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·4 min read
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We expect Moderna, Inc. MRNA second-quarter 2021 results, slated on Aug 5, before market open, to beat expectations. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 39.22%.

The company’s surprise history has been mixed so far with its earnings beating estimates in two of the trailing four quarters, while missing the same twice. The average negative surprise is 40.03%.

Moderna’s share price has surged 238.4% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 0.5%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Let’s see how things have shaped up for this announcement.

Factors to Note

Moderna’s top line is likely to have been driven by the strong uptake of its COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, during the second quarter amid the pandemic. The company had delivered 102 million doses of mRNA-1273 during the first quarter and anticipates to deliver 200 million to 250 million doses during the second quarter. Quarterly product sales are likely to have increased significantly, sequentially. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for product sales for the soon-to-be reported quarter stands at $3.97 billion.

During the quarter, the company received authorization for mRNA-1273 in Japan and South Korea. The vaccine received emergency use listing from the World Health Organization. These are likely to have boosted product sales during the second quarter.

In June, the company had filed for emergency/conditional use authorization in the United States, Europe and Canada for adolescents (aged 12 years or older). Last month, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency recommended the label expansion of mRNA-1273 (probable tradename: Spikevax) in adolescents.

Investors are likely to ask questions on the probable timeline for the potential launch of the vaccine for adolescents on the second-quarter earnings call. A shorter timeline will help Moderna to catch up with its key rival in the COVID-19 vaccine space, Pfizer PFE whose vaccine is already available for adolescents. Moreover, Pfizer raised its full-year guidance for the vaccine by more than quarter. We expect Moderna to also raise its guidance for sales from mRNA-1273 amid the pent-up demand for COVID-19 vaccines across the globe.

In May, Moderna had announced promising initial data from a mid-stage study on booster doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The company may provide an update related to the progress of its booster vaccine candidates as well as outlook on demand for boosters during the earnings call.

The company has also initiated rolling submission of a biologics license application (BLA) seeking full approval for use of mRNA-1273 in adults in June. Investors will focus on update related to the BLA as well on the earnings call.

Moderna has a funding commitment of up to $955 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (“BARDA”) in place to develop its coronavirus vaccine program in 2021. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for grant revenues is pegged at $81 million.

Apart from its COVID-19 vaccine candidates, Moderna is developing several other mRNA-based products targeting different indications including cancer. The company also has collaborations under which its partners like AstraZeneca AZN and Merck use its mRNA technology for development of therapies targeting different indications. The partners pay milestone payments to Moderna, which are likely to be reflected as collaboration revenues. These collaborations revenues can vary every quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for collaboration revenues for the second quarter is pegged at $17.9 million.

Earnings Beat Likely

Our proven model predicts an earnings beat for Moderna this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they are reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP: Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate Estimate ($7.47 per share) and the Zacks Consensus Estimate ($6.01 per share), is +24.12%.

Zacks Rank: Moderna carries a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Moderna, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Moderna, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise
Moderna, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Moderna, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Moderna, Inc. Quote

Another Stock to Consider

Here is a biotech stock that you may want to consider, as our model shows that it also has the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat in its upcoming release.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation DVAX has an Earnings ESP of +318.18% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (DVAX) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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