Lonza Group AG shares slumped after the Swiss supplier for pharmaceutical and nutrition companies warned on a hit to 2024 earnings due to lost revenue from an agreement with Moderna Inc.
(Bloomberg) — Lonza Group AG shares slumped after the Swiss supplier for pharmaceutical and nutrition companies warned on a hit to 2024 earnings due to lost revenue from an agreement with Moderna Inc.
The company expects 2024 margins above 25%, compared with at least 28% guided for this year, according to a statement ahead of its capital markets day Tuesday. Lonza also provided an outlook for the 2024-2028 period that disappointed investors.
Shares dipped as much as 12% to the lowest level since March 2020, erasing about 2.9 billion Swiss francs ($3.2 billion) in market value.
This is the latest in a series of warnings due to the loss of Moderna Inc. business. During the pandemic, Lonza expanded aggressively, adding staff in order to fulfill a supply agreement with the Covid vaccine developer. As demand for shots waned, the Swiss company cut its earnings guidance in July, and announced in September that Moderna was terminating its agreement.
Earlier in September, Lonza’s former Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Alain Ruffieux announced he would leave at the end of the month, the third surprise CEO departure in about five years.
Lonza also sees risk of a smaller deal with Kodiak Sciences Inc. to manufacture its retinal drug, currently in clinical trial phase.
Analysts including Citigroup’s Vineet Agrawal said Lonza’s mid-term targets suggest a 7% cut to 2028 consensus sales estimates and around 10% for earnings.
Sentiment around the sector was also hit on Monday after Moderna had an extended selloff which touched a three-year low, even as the drugmaker reaffirmed its Covid-19 vaccine revenue forecast for the full year. The biotech’s decline started late Friday after rival, Pfizer Inc., slashed its profit outlook amid waning demand for Covid treatments.
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