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BenzingaEditorial

Moderna Has Big Plans for 2021

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2020 was saved thanks to Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) whose vaccines against COVID-19 helped us see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. But unlike Pfizer with its rich long history in vaccines, Moderna became a household name only after its mRNA-1273 became the second COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use. Its share price skyrocketed 434% and peaked even higher.

You could easily think that 2021 will be kind of dull compared to all of that excitement and drama that marked 2020. But the reality is that things are just getting interesting as the battle against an invisible enemy threating every single person on the planet cannot end overnight.

Impressive financial performance

300 milion doses for the U.S., 40 million for Canada, 50 million for Japan, 7 million for the UK and 160 million for the EU. These are just some of the supply deals that Moderna has made. These deals combined will more than consume the low end of its anticipated 2021 production range, which was recently increased to 600 million doses. However, Moderna continues to ramp up production with the goal to achieve the output of 1 billion doses of mRNA-1273 this year. Even if Moderna isn’t able to boost its production, the biotech’s first quarterly update for fiscal year 2021 will be widely celebrated, especially considering that this is a company that previously hasn’t generated any product revenue.

Clinical trial updates

Moderna should have several key clinical trial updates in line this year. Back in November, it reported encouraging interim results from a phase 1 study evaluating a combination of personalized cancer vaccine mRNA-4157 and Merck’s (NYSE: MRK) immunotherapy Keytruda that aims to treat head, neck cancer and colorectal cancer, with more data expected to follow this year. Interim results from a phase 2 study of mRNA-4157 and Keytruda in treating melanoma could also be delivered toward the end of this year. Later this year, interim results from a study that is evaluating mRNA-2416 in combination with AstraZeneca‘s (NASDAQ: AZN) immunotherapy Imfinzi in treating solid tumors and ovarian cancer are also due this year. In addition, a phase 1 study of mRNA-2752 as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with Imfiniz targeting the treatment of several types of cancer should be finalized in July. But it is the cytomegalovirus vaccine candidate mRNA-1647 that is perhaps most eagerly anticipated as back in September, Moderna reported positive interim data from a phase 2 study of the experimental vaccine with plans to enter phase 3 this year.

A growing portfolio

Moderna is going to make a lot of money this year. Investors are looking forward to the company expanding the development pipeline as at its annual R&D day in September, CEO Stephane Bancel, stated that the company plans to jump into the flu market, given the unmet need for highly effective vaccines. Moderna could also follow the footsteps of Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) in exploring the possibility of developing a combo COVID-19 and flu vaccine.

Outlook

Should other leading COVID-19 vaccine makers stumble, the entire market could be left to Moderna and Pfizer. But stumbling doesn’t necessarily mean clinical failure, as Moderna and Pfizer have established a high bar for efficacy that other vaccines simply might not be able to attain. Whatever 2021 holds, things look good for Moderna, with the potential to be even greater.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

BenzingaEditorial

Snap Couldn’t Snap Out of Apple’s Privacy Changes

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On Thursday, Snap Inc (NYSE: SNAP) reported its third quarter earnings which clearly show revenue suffered due to Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone privacy changes that disrupted the advertising business. Although this was expected, the impact was stronger than anticipated. Stock fell 22% upon the news as the company also warned that global supply chain interruptions and labor shortages are reducing the “short-term appetite to generate additional customer demand through advertising.” Shares of rivals Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter were also down approximately 7% in after hours.

Third quarter figures

Adjusted earnings per share amounted to 17 cents, more than double the 8 cents estimated by Refinitiv, but revenue of $1.07 billion fell short of Refinitiv’s forecast of $1.10 billion.

Snap’s community now has 306 million global daily active users (DAUs) as it grew 4% from the figure reported in April and almost 23% from last year’s comparable quarter. It exceeded the StreetAccount estimate of 301.8 million, with average revenue per user (ARPU) being $3.49, slightly below the expected $3.67.

At a somewhat brighter note, net loss narrowed 64% from a loss of $200 million a year ago to $72 million.

Making Snapchat safer

While Facebook and its owned Instagram are under scrutiny on the way they are managing their teenage audience, the company is taking action to ensure a safer experience for its youngest users by working on a set of family safety tools. It is building insights for parents that reportedly won’t compromise privacy or data security. According to the CEO Evan Spiegel, one of the goals of this initiative is to open up a dialogue between parents and their children about their experiences on the app. The main goal is to get into parent’s good graces and protect teens without comprising the privacy of the app’s users.

Fourth quarter guidance

For the undergoing quarter, the company expects to gather DAUs in the range between 316 million and 318 million, which is more optimistic tha the StreetAccount estimate of 311.8 million.

Accounting for headwinds posed by Apple’s privacy changes, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages that are expected to stick around for a while, fourth-quarter revenue is expected to be in the range between $1.16 billion and $1.20 billion, short of the $1.36 billion Refinitiv’s survey of analysts expected. Unfortunately, these changes are taking place when supply chains should be operating at peak capacity and with peak advertising demand driving peak contestation, and therefore peak pricing.

Long-term goal remains intact

In a nutshell, although some degree of business disruption was anticipated due to the Apple’s improved privacy changes that Spiegel himself praised, the impact was greater as it made it more difficult for advertising partners to measure and manage their ad campaigns for iOS. Although the dynamics of these challenges is difficult to predict, the growth of the audience, the community’s adoption of Snap’s new products and the attractiveness to advertisers gives the company confidence to be able to navigate this storm as it continues its path towards its long-term vision.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Netflix Is Not Giving Up The Throne

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The streaming giant posted its third quarter results on Thursday, solidly beating earnings and showing it can continue attracting new subscribers. Besides a crowded streaming front, including no other than the entertainment giant The Walt Disney Company (NASDAQ: DIS) itself, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) also needs to compete for users’ attention with TikTok videos, videogames such as Epic Games-owned Fortnite as well as with old-fashioned books.

Quarter figures

The quarter’s subscriber growth of 4.4 million did a great job in topping the 3.84 million Wall Street expected and even its own estimate of 3.5 million as the company rolled out a bunch of content that was delayed due to the pandemic. The streaming pioneer now has a customer base of 222 million customers, out of which 67 million are in the United States.

For the quarter that ended on September 30th, Netflix generated $7.5 billion in revenue and ended with $1.4 billion in profit, slightly exceeding expectations.

Q4 guidance- an uncharted territory

Netflix anticipates to add 8.5 million new customers in the undergoing quarter which is one of the biggest quarterly forecasts in its history. The co-CEO Reed Hasting elaborated that the amount of content for the fourth quarter is something it never had before so the only way through is by feeling with hopes to roll into a great next year as well. As for profitability, the guidance is $365 million on a revenue of $7.7 billion.

A new metric on the horizon

Unlike traditional television, where economics are governed by ratings and cable licensing fees, Netflix doesn’t make more money when viewers watch more hours but when more people sign up. For this reason, it announced it will use new metrics for reporting viewership to match how outside services measure TV viewing and gives proper credit to rewatching. It will report hours viewed rather than the number of accounts that watched. For example, the current measure ranks “Extraction,” on top of the list with 99 million accounts having watched at least two minutes of the title in its first 28 days whereas the new measure would put “Bird Box” with 282 million total hours viewed within the same time frame. In addition, Netflix will also release title metrics more regularly in addition to quarterly earnings reports.

The Squid Game is a game changer

The South Korean series was its biggest series launch ever, topping 111 million viewers globally and beating out “Bridgerton.” Squid Game” will reportedly generate almost $900 million in impact value for the company. This success story shines a light on how much more affordable it is to make TV shows outside the United States with Disney having recently announced that 27 projects will be made in the Asia Pacific region.

Gaming update

Netflix revealed its experiments with gaming are underway as it is testing its games in select countries. Games will be offered under Netflix subscriptions and will not include advertisements or in-app purchases.

The offense

Netflix is also facing a rare public relations nightmare with Dave Chappelle’s comedy special that critics saw it as a hostile invective toward the transgender community rather than the boundary-pushing stand-up routine that Ted Sarandos, the company’s co-chief executive, initially defended. However, he admitted to “screwing up” in his efforts to communicate with employees who were upset over “The Closer,” in which Mr Chappelle made remarks that some viewed as offensive to the transgender community. With the protest held on Wednesday to support the streamer’s trans employees, who began a virtual walkout, it seems Netflix has still to figure out how to navigate such challenges.

What is clear is that Netflix is determined to defend its streaming throne by looking for new ways to keep customers glued to its service such as the upcoming gaming experiment.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

Chipotle Smashes Estimates Once Again

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On Thursday, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE: CMG) issued its third quarter results, smashing Wall Street’s estimates for both earnings and revenue. Menu price increases helped the burrito chain weather through the storm caused by higher costs on beef and freight, with shares rising 33% this year, resulting in a market value of $51.79 billion.

Third quarter figures

Revenue rose 21.9% to $1.95 billion slightly exceeded the expected $1.94 billion. Same-store sales rose 15.1%, also exceeding 14% that StreetAccount expected. Digital sales that more than tripled a year ago increased by 8.6%. During the quarter, the company opened 41 new restaurants.

Net income for the quarter that ended on September 30th amounted to $204.4 million, or $7.18 per share. As a comparison, during the same quarter last year, it made $80.2 million, or $2.82 per share a year earlier. The food chain successfully weathered cost increases of freight and beef by increasing its own menu prices. It announced the 4% increase back in June as to cover the cost of increasing restaurant workers’ wages to an average of $15 an hour.

Putting a tax benefit, restructuring costs and other items aside, earnings per share become $7.02, also topping $6.32 per share that Refinitiv survey of analysts expected.

The strategy is paying off

In two and a half years, the company’s loyalty program gathered 24.5 million members and according the the CEO Brian Niccol, there’s still a lot of room to grow. Although the company is still facing challenges such the labor crunch that’s hitting the broader industry, its strategies show it is handling it better than its industry peers. There is also the impact of inflation on construction materials, shortages on subcontractor labor and equipment and landlord delivery delays.  Under Niccol, who previously led Yum! Brands Inc (NYSE: YUM)-owned Taco Bell , the company has accelerated adding new menu items through a process it calls stage-gate testing with the aim to drive customer traffic to restuarants and keep the menu from getting bloated.

Fourth quarter guidance

The company is projecting same-store sales growth in the low-to-mid double-digits range. Several uncertainties have been noted as possibly weighing on the business for the foreseeable future, including inflation, staffing pressures and Covid-19. But the CFO Jack Hartung remains confident in the company’s ability to drive restaurant margins higher as average unit volumes increase.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure. IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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