What goes up for Pfizer must come down for Moderna

When Moderna floated three years ago at an $8bn valuation, which at the time many considered stretched, the notion of annual revenues anywhere close to $20bn was strictly the stuff of Stéphane Bancel’s dreams. Today, however, the company’s admission that sales of its Covid-19 vaccine this year would fall between $15bn and $18bn wiped 17% off its share price. Thanks to Moderna’s bloated market cap that is the equivalent of a cool $23bn. The mRNA researcher’s valuation remains as controversial today, of course, although it feels distinctly like the peak has passed. The young company has not managed to ramp up production as quickly as it would have liked, which has benefited Pfizer. That group's results earlier this week showed what can be done when the muscle of big pharma is behind a product – it raised guidance for its Covid-19 jab, Comirnaty, to $36bn this year, and expects at least $29bn in 2022. The big question for the sellside is what the tail looks like for these products, and current consensus, below from 2022, is bound to shift. With Pfizer declaring that demand for Comirnaty is “durable”, it would not be surprising to see longer-term forecasts start to diverge more sharply.

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