Pfizer said it expects about $15 billion in revenue this year from the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with BioNTech SE, a sign of returns to come from the industry’s pandemic response efforts.
The vaccine projection primarily includes doses that are expected to be delivered this year under existing contracts, Pfizer said Tuesday as it reported fourth-quarter earnings, and it may be adjusted as more contracts are reached.
Pfizer is commanding a higher price for its vaccine than some rivals. Under the terms of its supply deal with the US, it is charging $19.50 for each shot of the two-dose regimen. Rival AstraZeneca, which hasn’t yet gained authorisation for its two-dose vaccine in the US, has said it plans to charge less than $4 per shot.
Excluding its vaccine sales, Pfizer said it expects 2021 full-year revenue of $44.4 billion to $46.4 billion. Annual earnings per share will be $3.10 to $3.20. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla had said earlier this month that earnings would top out at $3.10 a share. The guidance was raised primarily because of its shifting vaccine forecast, according to the company. Pfizer fell as much as 4.3 per cent as of 9:45 am on Tuesday in New York.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, based on new technology called messenger RNA, was more than 90 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 symptoms in a late-stage clinical trial. Cleared for emergency use in the US, UK and European Union in December, it brought in $154 million in sales in the fourth quarter.
Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech initially expected to produce 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine, known BNT162b2, this year. They later boosted their output goal to 2 billion doses after a label change allowed doctors to extract six doses instead of five from each vial, and they secured additional manufacturing capacity. The boon to supply will likely add to the companies’ sales.