Covid-19 vaccine maker falls after Pfizer’s finance chief warns of worse outlook
Shares for vaccine makers fell after Pfizer’s chief financial officer David Denton said the outlook for vaccine prices this year saw a deteriorating margin. Denton told a conference that Pfizer expects a 24 percent vaccination rate in the US this year.
Denton had previously said the company would take steps to reduce costs if revenues from the COVID-19 vaccine missed expectations.
Moderna (MRNA) was the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500 as shares fell 9 percent after Pfizer’s chief financial officer David Denton said the outlook for vaccine prices this year took a significant margin hit. Pfizer shares (PFE) also fell, dropping 1 percent.
Denton told a health care conference at J.P. Morgan that Pfizer expects a 24 percent vaccination rate in the U.S. this year, equivalent to about 82 million injections. Moderna has estimated a range of 50 million to 100 million.
Last week, Moderna and Pfizer, along with Pfizer’s partner BioNTech (BNTX), received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency approval for a new vaccine that targets variants of the virus currently circulating.
Denton added that the covid-19 vaccine rate prediction is about half that of the flu, so “we’re cutting it pretty significantly for the year.” He noted that the company will “see how that plays out as we look at the trends in the coming weeks in the U.S. and globally from that perspective.”
Demand for COVID-19 shots has dropped as the pandemic subsided and after millions had already been vaccinated. Last month, Denton noted that if COVID-19 vaccine sales were less than Pfizer assumed, “we are prepared to launch an enterprise-wide cost improvement program in line with the long-term revenue projections for our business.”
American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) for BioNTech also fell by 3.8 percent after the news.
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