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Earnings Results: Novavax stock rallies, even as company offers a dimmer sales forecast for vaccines

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Novavax Inc. on Tuesday tweaked its full-year sales outlook to the low end of its expected range and reported a surprise quarterly loss, but sales for the the COVID-19 vaccine maker were far better than expected.

The company reported a net loss of $168.6 million, or $2.15 a share, compared with a loss of $322.4 million, or $4.31 a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Sales were $735 million, compared with $178.8 million in the prior-year quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected Novavax
NVAX,
+1.13%

to earn $1.57 a share, on revenue of $586 million.

Management for the company said they expected roughly $2 billion in sales for this year, the low end of an earlier forecast for between $2 billion to $2.3 billion.

Shares rose 2.6% after hours.

The company reported its results after other COVID-19 vaccine and drug makers reported a decline in demand, as people grow more relaxed about the pandemic and resistance to vaccinations endures. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the summer authorized the use of Novavax’s COVID vaccine.

But in August, Novavax slashed its full-year sales forecast, citing “several evolving market dynamics,” sending shares plummeting. Executives, during the company’s earnings call then, said “we will have no new revenues in 2022 from the U.S. and COVAX,” a worldwide program dedicated to broadening and speeding vaccine distribution.

Novavax executives at that time also cited issues related to shipment timing, oversupply and distribution into nations with lower wealth. Chief Executive Stanley Erck added that the company arrived late to the U.S. COVID vaccine market.

Meanwhile, rival vaccine-maker Moderna Inc.
MRNA,
+0.35%

last week cut its full-year sales outlook. Its management also cited falling sales of its COVID vaccine during the third quarter, as well as lower sales volume due to the timing of authorizations for its bivalent COVID booster and the related manufacturing ramp-up.

Pfizer Inc.
PFE,
+0.55%

last week reported a dip in third-quarter operating revenue. But excluding Comirnaty, the vaccine it developed with BioNTech SE
BNTX,
+0.14%
,
and its COVID pill Paxlovid, those sales rose 2%. Drug maker Gilead Sciences Inc.
GILD,
+0.95%

last month said sales of its COVID drug Veklury, also known as remdesivir, fell 52% to $925 million in the third quarter.

Novavax stock has plunged 87% so far this year. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index
SPX,
+0.56%

is down 20%.

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