Moderna (MRNA) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Moderna, Inc. MRNA is scheduled to report third-quarter 2020 results on Oct 29, before market open. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 13.89%.

The company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters with the average surprise being 11.8%.

Moderna’s share price has surged 259.1% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 3.1%.

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

Factors to Note

Moderna has no marketed products in its portfolio. On the third-quarterearnings call investor focus will likely remain on the progress of Moderna’s pipeline candidates, especially its 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 — COVE — initiated in July. 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, announced in September, had shown rapid and strong immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 in elderly patients aged 56 or above. The candidate is well tolerated in this patient population.

Moreover, Moderna completed enrollment in the COVE study last week. Among total patient population of 30,000 in the study, 25,650 participants received their second vaccination as of Oct 22. We expect the company to provide an update on the COVE study on its third-quarterearnings call Investors will likely focus on any update on timeline for filing for emergency use authorization for the candidate on the call.

In July, the company received additional commitment for funding of up to $472 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (“BARDA”) to support late-stage clinical development of the vaccine. The company had earlier received a funding commitment of up to $483 million from BARDA. These funding commitments are likely to have boosted revenues and offset the company’s rising operating expenses, primarily to support development and commercialization of mRNA-1273.

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 like AstraZeneca AZN and Merck use its mRNA technology for development of therapies targeting different indications. The partners pay milestone payments to Moderna, which comprise its total revenues. These collaborations revenues can vary every quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for collaboration revenues for the third quarter is pegged at $16.76 million.

In September, Moderna inked a new three-year research collaboration with its existing partner, Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX, for discovering and optimization of novel LNPs and mRNAs that can deliver gene-editing therapies for treating cystic fibrosis. Modern also signed another collaboration agreement with Italy-based Chiesi Farmaceutici for developing potential pulmonary arterial hypertensiontherapeutics in the same month. Upfront payments from these two deals are likely to have boosted revenues in the third quarter.

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: Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate Estimate (loss of 95 cents per share) and the Zacks Consensus Estimate (loss of 43 cents per share), is -123.16%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter

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 +5.35% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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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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