Novavax shares plunge on slow vaccine deliveries

Shares of Novavax Inc. sharply plummeted on Monday’s extended trading after it shipped less than a fourth of the Covid-19 vaccine deliveries slated for 2022.

The American biotechnology company slumped 22.08% or 11.76 points to $41.50 per share. It trailed a downturn of 7.05% or 4.04 points to $53.26 per share in the regular-hours market.

Accordingly, Novavax only sold 31.00 million vaccine doses in the quarter. However, this serves only a tiny fraction of the 2.00 billion shots it plans to send worldwide this year.

Nevertheless, the firm reiterated its forecast for total revenue of $4.00 billion to $5.00 billion. It anticipates shipments to key markets and sales to edge up in the second quarter.

Subsequently, it expects additional pull-throughs within these markets in the coming months. It estimates that demand will spike with the recent surges of COVID around the world.

These comments contrasted with several other drugmakers that have started to pencil in a slowdown in demand. This projection came amid the global vaccine supply glut and a likely decline in cases.

Correspondingly, this sentiment overshadowed the first profitable quarter of the company. The vaccine maker reported a net income of $203.00 million in the first quarter. This figure edged up from a net loss of $222.70 million in the same period last year.

Regardless, the firm still missed earnings and revenue expectations. Its Q1 sales posted at $704.00 million, well below the average market expectation of $845.00 million. Moreover, its adjusted earnings came in at $2.56 per share, below the expected $2.69.

Its grant revenue from the US government and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations plunged 78.00% to $99.00 million.

Novavax to test vaccine omicron mutations

Moreover, Novavax said it would begin clinical trials on a vaccine that targets mutations on the omicron variant this month.

The Food and Drug Administration will also decide whether the US needs to switch to a new vaccine design. It plans to target recent virus mutations. Accordingly, the current vaccines still target the original strain that emerged in Wuhan, China, in 2019.

The firm was one of the early companies that participated in Operation Warp Speed. It joined the US government-backed race to develop a Covid vaccine in 2020.

Regardless, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson ultimately beat the business as it struggled to raise its manufacturing capacity.

Before the after-hours trading, shares of Novavax dropped 62.73% or 89.64 points since the start of the year.

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