When Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Thursday, the earnings (or loss in this case) were not the most important feature of the report. The firm gave an update on where it stands with its COVID-19 vaccine.
First things first, Moderna said that it has four programs in Phase 2 studies, with its COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 study fully enrolled. Management noted that it is actively preparing for the launch of mRNA-1273 (COVID-19 vaccine) and it has signed a number of supply agreements with governments around the world.
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, thinks that if the firm launches the COVID-19 vaccine then 2021 could be “the most important inflection year in Moderna’s history.”
In terms of the financial results, total revenues for the third quarter increased to $157.9 million, up from $17.0 million in the same period last year. The primary driver for this jump in revenue was the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) agreement related to the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine development program.
Research and development expenses were $344.5 million, an increase from $119.6 million last year. This increase was mainly due to increases in clinical trial expenses, an increase in raw materials and manufacturing costs, and an increase in personnel-related costs.
The net loss for the quarter came in at $233.6 million, versus $123.2 million in the third quarter of 2019.
On the books, Moderna ended the quarter with $3.97 billion in cash, cash equivalents and investments, an increase from $1.26 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.
Looking ahead to the 2020 full year, the company now expects positive net cash provided by operating activities, driven by customer deposits of $1.2 billion received as of the end of September 2020. Analysts are calling for a net loss of $1.46 per share and $309.22 million in revenue for the 2020 full year.
Moderna stock traded up 4% to $68.39 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $15.52 to $95.21. The consensus price target is $92.54.