BioNTech to return almost €2bn to shareholders after Covid vaccine success

BioNTech plans to return nearly 2 billion euros to shareholders through a repurchase of shares and a special dividend following the commercial success of its vaccine for Covid-19, the company said on Wednesday.

German biotechnology, which launched the first vaccine for Covid-19 in partnership with Pfizer, said it would also increase research and development spending by 50% to 1.4 to 1.5 billion euros, as it seeks to develop a new range of drug-based drugs. On mRNA technology.

“To continue our industry leadership, we intend to build on our success in 2021 and rapidly advance a number of programs, including mRNA-based immunotherapeutic therapies, cell therapies and biospecific antibodies,” said Ugor Sahin, co-founder and CEO of BioNTech.

Biotech has a number of ongoing drug development programs, including 16 cancer drug candidates in clinical trials.

BioNTech’s fortune soared following the launch of the first vaccine in December 2020 using messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA technology. The Nasdaq-traded biotech is now facing the challenge of bringing new drugs to market to diversify its revenue stream, with sales of Cubid vaccines expected to moderate as the epidemic calms down.

Analysts said Biotech and its rival Covid Moderna are facing a delicate balancing act between investing revenue from R&D vaccine sales and business development to expand their operations while rewarding investors who supported the two companies’ rapid rise from start-ups to global businesses.

BioNTech announced on Wednesday that it plans to repurchase $ 1.5 billion of its shares over the next two years. It also offered to pay a special dividend in cash of 2 euros per share, worth about 486 million euros. Meanwhile, Moderna announced last month a $ 3 billion repurchase but did not offer a special dividend.

Brad Lonkar, a biotechnology investor, said BioNTech and Moderna faced challenges because they pulled a “fast money” shareholder base during the epidemic that expects them to produce many new products in the short term.

“Drug development is not working that way and these will be much longer-term stories than many realize,” he said. “By adding a modest revenue component to their stocks, I think they can attract more long-term-oriented investors who have the patience to see the non-cobyd pipe roll over the years it will take in reality.”

BioNTech has said it will expand an ongoing clinical trial for the Covid-19 vaccine tailored to increase protection against the Omicron variant and will release data in April. It is also working on next-generation Covid vaccines, designed to offer broader protection against newer versions. But human trials have not yet begun, the company said.

The announcement followed the results of the fourth quarter, which exceeded analysts’ earnings forecasts. BioNTech earned 12.18 euros per share in the fourth quarter, compared to analysts’ estimates of 8.19 euros per share.

For the full year, the company reported revenues of € 18.9 billion, compared to € 482.3 million a year earlier – a result that reflects the phenomenal success of the Cubid-19 vaccine in 2021. Net profit for the full year was € 10.2 billion, compared to € 15.2 million in -2020.

The company said it had signed orders to supply 2.4 billion cobid vaccines by 2022, which it expects to generate between 13 and 17 billion euros in revenue.

BioNTech shares rose nearly 5% in morning trading.

This article was revised to correct the value of BioNTech’s repurchases

BioNTech to return almost €2bn to shareholders after Covid vaccine success Source link BioNTech to return almost €2bn to shareholders after Covid vaccine success

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