Moderna Q1 2021 Earnings Report Preview: What to Look For

Key Takeaways

  • Analysts estimate EPS of $2.30 vs. -$0.35 in Q1 FY 2020.
  • Revenue is expected to skyrocket on sales of Moderna's recently approved COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Moderna expects to supply up to 1 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021.

Moderna Inc. (MRNA) is set to rake in an estimated $9.3 billion in net income in 2021 as it supplies millions of doses of its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine. Those giant profits are a dramatic change for Moderna, which lost money for the past three years. The biotechnology company now is busy ramping up production to meet enormous demand since the vaccine was approved for use late last year. Moderna recently announced the expansion of its Massachusetts technology center, which is expected to lead to a 50% increase in vaccine production.

Investors will be expecting the demand for Moderna's vaccine to lead to significant improvements in the company's financial results when it reports earnings on May 6, 2021 for Q1 FY 2021. Analysts expect the company to post its first quarterly earnings per share (EPS) in at least three years as revenue surges.

Investors will also be looking for any announcements regarding how Moderna is scaling up production of its vaccine to meet soaring demand. In an April 29 press release, the company announced that it was investing in manufacturing facilities to reach a global production capacity of 3 billion doses by 2022. The company also raised its supply forecast for 2021 to between 800 million and 1 billion doses.

Shares of Moderna have dramatically outperformed the broader market over the past year. The stock's performance gap with the rest of the market began to significantly widen in November 2020 as positive developments related to the company's COVID-19 vaccine boosted investor confidence. The stock's movements since then have been extremely volatile, but it has continued to trend upward. Moderna's shares have provided a total return of 244.1% over the past year, well above the S&P 500's total return of 46.5%.

One Year Total Return for S&P 500 and Moderna
Source: TradingView.

Moderna Earnings History

Moderna's volatility is best illustrated by the stock's performance in the past few months. The stock rose for several days after Moderna's Q4 FY 2020 earnings release in late February, but then plunged and traded in a wide range for a month before advancing once again and peaking in early May. It's pulled back since then. Moderna posted a loss per share of $0.69 in Q4, its largest loss per share since the final quarter of FY 2018. But revenue skyrocketed 3,960.8% compared to the year-ago quarter. It marked the third straight quarter of revenue growth following a string of declines. Moderna said it began to recognize revenue from the sale of its COVID-19 vaccine in December, which helped to drive total revenue.

In Q3 FY 2020, Moderna posted a loss of $0.59 per share, continuing a streak of losses that goes back at least as far as Q1 FY 2018. Revenue for the quarter rose 826.4%. It was a significant acceleration from the 407.2% pace of growth posted in Q2, which followed six consecutive quarters of declining revenue. Revenue was primarily driven by increased grant revenue, which was mainly due to the company's agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop its subsequently approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Analysts expect massive improvements in both earnings and revenue in Q1 FY 2021. Moderna is expected to report its first quarterly EPS in at least three years. Revenue is expected to surge 23,822.7% compared to the year-ago quarter. For full-year FY 2021, analysts are currently forecasting annual EPS of $23.16, which would put an end to years of losses. Annual revenue is expected to rise more than twenty-fold.

Moderna Key Stats
  Estimate for Q1 2021 (FY) Q1 2020 (FY) Q1 2019 (FY)
Earnings Per Share ($) 2.30  -0.35 -0.40
Revenue ($M) 2,006.9 8.4 16.0

Source: Visible Alpha

Continued vaccine demand is key to Moderna's revenue and profit growth. Investors will be looking for announcements from Moderna that it has secured any new supply agreements for its vaccine with foreign governments. In a May 3 press release, the company announced that it had reached an agreement to supply up to 500 million doses of its vaccine to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, an organization that works to improve access to vaccines in the world's poorest countries.

Article Sources
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  1. Visible Alpha. "Financial Data." Accessed May 4, 2021.

  2. Moderna Inc. "Moderna Announces Expansion of its Manufacturing Technology Center in Massachusetts." Accessed May 4, 2021.

  3. Moderna Inc. "Moderna to Report First Quarter Financial Results on Thursday, May 6, 2021." Accessed May 4, 2021.

  4. Moderna Inc. "Moderna Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Results and Provides Business Updates." Accessed May 4, 2021.

  5. Moderna Inc. "Moderna Reports Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Provides Business Updates." Accessed May 4, 2021.

  6. Moderna Inc. "Moderna Announces Supply Agreement with Gavi for up to 500 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna for COVAX To Help End COVID-19 Pandemic in Lowest Income Countries." Accessed May 4, 2021.

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