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Moderna (MRNA) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Moderna, Inc. MRNA is scheduled to report second-quarter 2020 results on Aug 5, before market open. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 5.41%.

The company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters with the average surprise being 8.92%.

Moderna’s share price has surged 308.5% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 5%.

Let’s see how things have shaped up for this announcement.

Factors to Note

Moderna has no marketed products in its portfolio. On the second-quarter earnings call, investor focus will likely remain on the progress of Moderna’s pipeline candidate, especially coronavirus vaccine candidate.

The company has been actively engaged in developing its coronavirus vaccine — mRNA-1273. It is one of the leading players in this field with phase III study initiated earlier this week. The company is conducting the study in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Interim data from a phase I study evaluating mRNA-1273 had shown rapid and strong immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 in all patients.

Moreover, Moderna has also been focusing on building manufacturing capacity for mRNA-1273 through collaborations. Last month, the company signed a manufacturing agreement with drug delivery specialist, Catalent, Inc. CTLT and Spain-based Laboratorios Farmaceuticos Rovi for the same. It had earlier stated that it is on track to deliver 500 million doses of 100 μg dosage of mRNA-1273 per year, which can possibly increase up to 1 billion doses per year, beginning 2021.

Moreover, the company has received commitment for funding of approximately $955 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to support development of the vaccine.

Investors will likely ask questions related to the progress of the phase II study on mRNA-1273 and try to gain an early insight into the phase III study on the second-quarter earnings call.

Apart from mRNA-1273, Moderna is developing several other mRNA-based products targeting different indications including cancer. The company also has collaborations under which its partners use its mRNA technology for development of therapies targeting different indications. The partners pay milestone payments to Moderna, which comprise its total revenues. These revenues can vary every quarter. In the past few quarters, revenues have declined year over year due to lower collaboration revenues across its strategic alliances, particularly with AstraZeneca AZN and Merck. We do not expect second-quarter results to reflect any improvement.

In March, Moderna provided an update on the impact of coronavirus pandemic on its ongoing clinical studies evaluating its pipeline candidates. The company had paused enrollment in studies evaluating its rare disease candidates and respiratory vaccine candidate. We expect it to provide an update on the future path of these clinical studies on the call.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Moderna this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP: Moderna’s Earnings ESP is -0.93%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at a loss of 36 cents.

Zacks Rank: Moderna currently has a Zacks Rank #2.

Moderna, Inc. Price and Consensus

Moderna, Inc. Price and Consensus

Moderna, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Moderna, Inc. Quote

A Stock That Warrants a Look

Here is a biotech stock that you may want to consider, as our model shows that it has the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat in its upcoming release.

Incyte Corporation INCY has an Earnings ESP of +4.62% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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