BioNTech Stock Is Getting a Lift. Earnings Were Strong.

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BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, marketed in partnership with Pfizer, is its only revenue-producing product.


Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

The German biotech

BioNTech

announced quarterly revenues and per-share earnings that were higher than expected, giving a boost to a stock that took a hit last week after

Pfizer

announced clinical trial results that appear to transform the Covid-19 market.

Revenue, disclosed Tuesday, came in at €6.1 billion, or about $7 billion, beating the FactSet consensus estimate of €5.1 billion. Diluted earnings for the quarter were €12.35 per share, or $14.30, while the FactSet consensus estimate was for €10.54.

The top and bottom-line beats come a week after BioNTech’s (ticker: BNTX) partner

Pfizer

(PFE) blew past earnings expectations on the strength of sales of their shared product, the leading Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S., Europe, and much of the rest of the developed world.

BioNTech slightly raised its revenue guidance for the full 2021 financial year to between around €16 billion to €17 billion, up from its previous call of around €15.9 billion. The new forecast is below the FactSet consensus estimate of €17.1 billion.

BioNTech’s American depositary receipt jumped 4.1% in premarket trading. BioNTech’s ADR has had a rocky few days, tumbling 20.9% on Friday amid a selloff of Covid-19 vaccine and therapeutic stocks after Pfizer announced shockingly positive results in a trial of its Covid-19 antiviral, shaking up the market for treatments

BioNTech recovered some of its losses on Monday, climbing 12%. The ADR was trading at $243.99 in the premarket hours on Tuesday, still substantially down from its closing price last Wednesday of $295.41. BioNTech is up 197.6% so far this year, though it has fallen 34% since the start of August, a period in which the


iShares Biotechnology ETF

(IBB) has dropped 5.3%.

BioNTech poses a quandary for investors. The Covid-19 vaccine developed by the company and now marketed in partnership with Pfizer is the dominant Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. and Europe, accounting for 74% of the market in the U.S. and 80% in Europe, according to Pfizer. The outlook for Covid-19 vaccine sales, however, is unclear, and the advent of Pfizer’s antiviral only makes it hazier.

What’s more, while the rest of BioNTech’s pipeline is promising, its programs are largely in earlier stages of development. As Barron’s reported in a magazine feature in April, analysts don’t expect any BioNTech program besides its Covid-19 vaccine to produce revenues until at least 2025.

People who haven’t studied this company …are going to be shocked, I think, when they realize how early everything else is,” SVB Leerink analyst Daina Graysbosch said at the time.

In a presentation for investors on Tuesday, BioNTech said its pipeline has the potential to launch multiple products in the next 5 years.”

In its earnings release, BioNTech highlighted progress beyond its Covid-19 vaccine, including its messenger RNA-based flu vaccine and its various cancer programs.

The company said that €4.4 billion of its revenues for the quarter came from its shares of the profits of Pfizer and its Chinese partner Fosun’s sales of the vaccine, while €1.4 billion came from its own direct sales of the vaccine. The rest came from other sources.

A conference call for investors to discuss the results began at 8 a.m. Eastern.

Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at josh.nathan-kazis@barrons.com

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