AstraZeneca beats results expectations as COVID shot sales hit $275 million

AstraZeneca,on Friday,posted better-than-expected results and forecasted growth in the second economic quarter as her
COVID-19 vaccine delivered $275 million in first-quarter sales while shaving three cents per share from earnings.

This is the first time AstraZeneca has given financial details of the distribution and sales of the vaccine, which it developed with Oxford University.

It has said it will not make a profit from the shot during the pandemic.

The vaccine revenue included delivery of about 68 million doses, AstraZeneca said, adding that sales in Europe, where it faces a legal case, were $224 million, in emerging markets $43 million and $8 million in the rest of the world.

Sales of $275 million for 68 million doses equates to a price tag of around $4 per shot.

AstraZeneca was one of the leaders in the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

Its cheap and easily transportable shot was hailed as a milestone in the fight against the crisis, but has since faced a series of setbacks.

AstraZeneca shares were up 4% to 7,705 pence at 0845 GMT, putting them on track for their best day since October. The stock, which hit record highs in July 2020 due to optimism around the vaccine, ended last year 4% lower.

The results come after a bruising start to the year as the drugmaker struggles with production of its vaccine and faces a legal battle after cutting deliveries to Europe, while regulators probe rare blood clots in people who got the shot.

Pfizer, whose COVID-19 vaccine co-developed with German partner BioNTech is several times more costly than AstraZeneca’s, has forecast $15 billion for its share of sales, with analysts expecting as much as $18 billion on average.

BioNTech expects close to 10 billion euros ($12.1 billion) in revenues from committed vaccine deliveries this year but raised the prospect of more supply deals.

Moderna in February said it was expecting sales of $18.4 billion from its own vaccine this year.