Moderna on Wednesday cut its sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine as third quarter revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations.
In a quarterly earnings report, Moderna said its vaccine, known as Spikevax and the biotechnology company’s only marketed product, generated $3.1 billion in sales over the last three months. Those numbers came in below projections that Wall Street analysts had already reduced from $4.4 billion to $3.3 billion over the last month.
Moderna also trimmed its vaccine sales projections for the year, cutting a prior estimate of $21 billion to between $18 and $19 billion. Multiple countries have deferred vaccine contracts into next year, resulting in anywhere from $2 billion and $3 billion in revenue that won’t be received this year, Moderna said.
Moderna’s earnings are in contrast to Pfizer, which increased its vaccine revenue forecast by $2 billion when it reported earnings last month. Pfizer now expects $34 billion in annual sales from its shot, Comirnaty, after the vaccine generated $22 billion during the first half of the year.
Moderna shares fell about 4%, to about $143 apiece, in early trading Thursday.
Both Moderna and Pfizer are preparing to sell their vaccines in the private market, as the U.S. government doesn’t plan to continue the bulk purchases that have turned the shots into some of the industry’s most lucrative products. They’re doing so as demand for COVID-19 vaccines has cooled amid a slow rollout for the new booster shots tailored to versions of the omicron variant.
Pfizer has already said it may hike the price of its shot to between $110 and $130 per dose, nearly four times its current price tag. Angela Lukin, Pfizer’s head of global primary care and U.S. president, defended the company’s plan on a recent conference call, noting that “people will not see any difference and the system will get the benefit of a cost-effective product.”
Lukin added that people covered by government and commercial insurance won’t have to pay out of pocket for the shots.
Moderna hasn’t yet said what it will charge when vaccine sales move to the private market. In September, the company indiciated it was considering charging between $64 and $100 per dose.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify Pfizer’s vaccine sales forecast for 2022.