Novavax cuts revenue guidance in half, stock tanks in extended trading

In this photo illustration a silhouette of a man holding a medical syringe and a vial seen displayed in front of the Novavax logo on a screen.

Cezary Kowalski | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Novavax deeply cut its full-year revenue guidance Monday, with no new Covid-19 vaccine sales expected for 2022 in the U.S. or from an international alliance called Covax that represents low- and middle-income countries.

The Maryland biotech company cut its 2022 sales outlook by about 50% and now expects to generate $2 billion to $2.3 billion in revenue. Novavax previously forecast $4 billion to $5 billion in revenue.

Novavax stock dropped 33% in extended trading. The company posted a loss of $6.53 per share, completely missing expectations of a $5.50 profit per share. It booked revenue of $186 million for the second quarter, also way below expectations of $1 billion.

“For the quarter revenue was $186 million, a significant shortfall from both the first quarter results, and as I said from our expectations,” CEO Stanley Erck told analysts during the company’s earnings call. “We are now projecting that we will have no new revenues in ’22 from the U.S. or from Covax.”

Erck said Novavax was originally expecting to book sales this year from 110 million shots in the U.S. and 350 million shots from Covax. But Novavax was late to the U.S. market, he said, where people are still overwhelmingly getting vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna’s shots.

Novavax received U.S. authorization for its Covid shots for adults earlier this summer, but 77% of people in that age group are already fully vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna and to a lesser degree Johnson & Johnson’s shots. The U.S. has so far ordered only 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.

Erck said Novavax has struggled because its shots are not yet approved as a booster or for adolescents in the U.S. yet, the core of the remaining market for Covid vaccination in the country.

“We’re hopeful that we can get through this in days and weeks, but the absence of these indications slows the global rollout of our vaccine,” he said.

A surge in vaccine supply to Covax also limited the alliance’s need for shots from Novavax, Erck said. Covax has struggled to distribute its current inventory to low- and middle-income countries, he added.

Novavax’s vaccine sales slowed to $55 million in the second quarter from nearly $585 million in the prior period. The company took a net loss of $510.5 million overall in the second quarter compared to a net loss of $352.3 million in the year-earlier period — before its vaccine was authorized anywhere. Novavax turned its first quarterly profit earlier this year.

Novavax was one of the original participants in the U.S. race to develop a Covid vaccine in 2020, called Operation Warp Speed. The company received $1.8 billion in taxpayer funding. But Novavax fell behind Pfizer and Moderna as it struggled to get its manufacturing base in place.

The company is now manufacturing and delivering vaccine but demand for the Covid shots has softened overall as many people in major markets are already immunized and the public is less focused on the health risk posed by the virus despite stubbornly high infections.

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