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Moderna Inc on Thursday reported stronger-than-expected sales for its COVID-19 vaccine for the first quarter, driven by a surge of revenue deferred from 2022, but left its 2023 sales expectations unchanged.

The vaccine maker posted a profit of 19 cents per share, compared with analysts’ expectations for a loss of $1.77 per share, in part because sales were higher than expected.

Shares of the company were up nearly 2% in choppy premarket trade.

Moderna said it continued to expect COVID vaccine sales of $5 billion for the year based on advance purchase agreements. It added it was having discussions about new contracts with customers in Europe, Japan, and in the U.S.

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The $1.83 billion of sales for its COVID vaccine Spikevax represents most of the $2 billion expected in the first half of the year for advanced purchase agreements and double the average analyst estimate of $998 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Moderna expects an additional $3 billion in deferred vaccine revenue in the second half of 2023.

“Today’s beat and 2023 reiteration of guidance along with ongoing negotiations in 3 regions should support some confidence on the 2023 base business of $5 billion to $7 billion,” said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.

Moderna continues to expect the U.S. annual COVID-19 market to be 100 million doses, she added.

The results came two days after rival Pfizer Inc reported better-than-expected COVID vaccine sales for the first quarter and maintained its expectations for full-year sales.

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Moderna said on Thursday it now expects a tax benefit of $300 million to $500 million for the year due to credits for research and development and certain one-off items.

The company had generated around $36 billion in sales over the last two years from its COVID vaccine, its only commercial product and one of the most widely used shots for the virus.

Demand for the vaccine has since fallen globally, and the company in February effectively forecast a possible net loss for 2023, calling it a transition year before it starts sales of its potential new vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu.

All of its vaccines are based on the same mRNA platform as its COVID product.

Moderna said on Thursday it was preparing for potential commercial launches of its RSV and flu vaccines in 2024. Longer term, the company has also teamed up with Merck & Co Inc on a cancer vaccine that works in concert with Merck’s immunotherapy Keytruda.

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