The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is prepared for administration ahead of a free distribution of over the counter rapid Covid-19 test kits to people receiving their vaccines or boosters at Union Station in Los Angeles, California on January 7, 2022.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Moderna on Thursday said it expects to sell at least $19 billion of its Covid-19 vaccine this year, after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that blew out analysts’ earnings and revenue estimates.

The company’s 2022 forecast for vaccine sales was $2 billion higher than its previous expectation. Moderna previously said it expected $17 billion in vaccine sales this year.

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

  • Adjusted EPS: $11.29 vs $9.90 expected
  • Revenue: $7.2 billion vs. $6.78 billion expected

Moderna reported $4.9 billion in net income for the fourth quarter. The company sold $17.7 billion of its Covid vaccine in 2021, delivering 807 million vaccine doses worldwide. Moderna’s revenue totaled $18.5 billion for 2021.

CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Thursday that the world may be moving out of the pandemic phase as the omicron wave subsides in the U.S. and around the world. However, Bancel said people will need booster shots in the fall, particularly individuals over 50 and those with underlying conditions.

“We believe there’s a high probability that we’re moving into an endemic setting,” Bancel told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell. “We should still be cautious because as we’ve seen with delta, which came after alpha and was more virulent, [it] is always possible to get the more virulent variant of course.”

Moderna’s Covid vaccine is the company’s only commercially available treatment. The two-dose vaccine, Spikevax, was fully approved for adults ages 18 and older in the last month by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Moderna is conducting a clinical trial for a booster shot that specifically targets the omicron Covid variant. However, it’s unclear whether there will be strong demand for an omicron booster, as new infections from the variant drop sharply in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

The FDA has not yet lowered the eligibility age for Moderna’s vaccine beyond adults. Moderna asked the FDA last summer to authorize its vaccine for teenagers 12- to 17-years-old. However, the drug regulator is reviewing data on the risk myocarditis, a rare heart inflammation, after vaccination with Moderna’s shots.

Moderna has said it will not ask the FDA to expand eligibility to 6- to 11-year-olds until the drug regulator authorizes the shot for teenagers. The company expects to release clinical trial data on its vaccine for 2- to 5-year-olds sometime in March.

The U.S. has administered more than 207 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine since the FDA first authorized the shots on an emergency basis in December 2020.

CNBC Health & Science