BioNTech SE plunged in US trading after the German biotech reported its first loss since 2020 due to lower demand for the Covid-19 shots it makes with Pfizer Inc.
(Bloomberg) — BioNTech SE plunged in US trading after the German biotech reported its first loss since 2020 due to lower demand for the Covid-19 shots it makes with Pfizer Inc.
Pfizer’s write-offs of unused vaccine inventory cut into BioNTech’s share of the profit in the second quarter. The biotech’s American depositary receipts fell more than 10% in New York. Fellow vaccine-maker Moderna Inc. — which earlier this month raised its Covid-19 vaccine sales outlook for the year — slumped as much as 9%.
BioNTech is pumping its pandemic-era profit into a broad pipeline of experimental drugs for other infectious diseases and hard-to-treat cancers. Until those projects reach fruition, however, the Covid vaccine remains its only marketed product.
The company sees dealmaking opportunities to boost its pipeline, with potential targets in a price range of less than $1 billion, Chief Strategy Officer Ryan Richardson said in a call with analysts. An acquisition would have to be a very good strategic fit for BioNTech to consider a larger move, he added.
BioNTech swung to a second-quarter loss of 79 euro cents per share, compared to diluted earnings per share of €6.45 ($7.09) for the prior-year period. Analysts had anticipated a loss of 60 cents per share.
Amid uncertainty for the Covid vaccine market, BioNTech is also paring back some spending on research and development. The company expects €2 billion to €2.2 billion in R&D spending this year, cutting €400 million from both sides of the range. It will also trim this year’s capital expenditure budget from as much as €600 million to as much as €450 million.
The company maintained its forecast for about €5 billion in vaccine sales this year. Sales of the shots should pick up in the second half due to seasonal effects, BioNTech said. Delivery of the latest variant-adapted shot is expected to start as early as next month.
–With assistance from Matt Turner.
(Updates trading for BioNTech and adds Moderna in the second paragraph.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.