Novavax tumbles 31% as waning COVID vaccine demand hits revenue forecast




  • In Business
  • 2022-08-09 11:36:43Z
  • By Reuters
 

(Reuters) - U.S. vaccine maker Novavax slumped nearly 31% on Tuesday as falling demand for its COVID-19 shot from low- and middle-income nations led the company to cut its annual revenue expectation by half.

Demand for its vaccine is also waning in the United States, where it was authorized for use among adults last month and was expected to be preferred by the skeptics of messenger RNA-based shots from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc.

But only 7,381 Novavax vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country, with Chief Executive Stanley Erck saying that its late launch could have hampered demand.

The company now expects 2022 revenue between $2 billion and $2.3 billion, compared with its prior forecast of $4 billion to $5 billion when it was hoping to benefit from the demand for its shots as part of the COVAX vaccine sharing program.

The forecast cut also dashes any hope of Novavax being able to garner a share of the market for the two-dose initial vaccination program, said Cowen analyst George Yordanov.

"We completely share and understand investors' frustration with management's execution and lack of accurate near-term guidance," he said in a note.

Analysts, however, expect the company to capture a small but meaningful share of a fast-developing market for COVID re-vaccinations.

It could still be a 'viable COVID vaccine player in the future $5-10 billion market' as it has shown comparable/better clinical profile vs mRNA vaccines, Jefferies analyst Roger Song said in a note.

Novavax shares were trading lower at $39.30 before the bell. Rival Moderna Inc was also down about 3%. Earlier this month, it said gains from orders for new booster shots were offset by unallocated vaccines under the COVAX program.

(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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