Novavax (NVAX) says there’s “substantial doubt” regarding its ability to continue, and NVAX stock crashed Wednesday.
The statement came on the heels of light sales and deeper-than-expected loss. During the December quarter, the company brought in $357 million in sales — accounting for growth in its Covid vaccine, Nuvaxovid, offset by declining revenue from grants, royalties and other sources. Sales grew 61%.
Novavax also lost $2.28 per share, narrowing from an $11.18 per-share loss in the year-ago period, but missing projections for a per-share loss of $1.01, according to FactSet.
Now, the company says it plans to focus on developing an updated version of its Covid shot, in line with guidance from public health officials. But the company cautioned there is “significant uncertainty” regarding 2023 revenue, funding from the U.S. government and pending arbitration.
“Given these uncertainties, substantial doubt exists regarding our ability to continue as a going concern through one year from the data that these financial statements are issued,” Novavax said in its press release.
In response, NVAX stock plummeted 24.8% near 7 in morning trading on today’s stock market. Before the announcement late Tuesday, shares closed up 6.8% at 9.26.
NVAX Stock: Lookahead Is Murky
Novavax currently sells just one drug, the Covid vaccine. But Covid vaccinations in the U.S. are waning. Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) eked out small sales gains for their Covid vaccines in 2022, though sales are expected to drop off this year.
It’s important to note Novavax uses a different means of vaccinating patients. While the Pfizer and Moderna shots rely on messenger RNA platforms, Novavax’s shot is protein-based. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Novavax’s shot as a primary series for people age 12 and older, and as a booster shot in adults.
This year, new Chief Executive John Jacobs says the company plans to deliver an updated Covid vaccine ahead of the 2023 vaccination season. Novavax also hopes to reduce spending, manage cash flow and evolve its scale/structure. Further, it hopes to bolster its portfolio “to drive additional value beyond Nuvaxovid alone.”
Analysts Have A Mixed 2023 View
But analysts are mixed on 2023 expectations for Novavax. They call for $4.99 per share in losses. That would diminish from an $8.42 per-share loss in 2022. But they also call for sales to dive 36% to $1.26 billion, according to FactSet.
That would be in line with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s expectations. Both companies predict sales of their Covid shots will decline in 2023. Vaccinations are slowing and the public health emergency in the U.S. is now slated to end in May.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.