Moderna Stock Options Pop After Earnings, FDA Update

The drugmaker's fourth-quarter earnings miss is weighing on the shares

Deputy Editor
Feb 23, 2023 at 11:17 AM
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Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock is down 7% at $147.10 at last check, after the company's lackluster fourth-quarter earnings report offset some upbeat Food and Drug Administration (FDA) news. 

Specifically, around yesterday's close Moderna announced that the FDA granted its experimental mRNA skin cancer vaccine in combination with Merck's (MRK) Keytruda the breakthrough therapy designation. 

This morning, however, the drugmaker missed quarterly earnings expectations, though revenue came in slightly above forecasts. Moderna's results were dented by rising costs that stemmed from surplus production capacity, as well as lower demand for its Covid-19 vaccine. Plus, the company's projected 2023 sales of the latter came in below estimates.

Options traders are piling on following the news. So far, 22,000 calls and 31,000 puts have crossed the tape, or triple the intraday average volume. Most popular is the weekly 2/24 150-strike put, followed distantly by the 165-strike call in that same series.

On the charts, Moderna stock is pacing for its fifth-straight daily loss, as well as its first close blow its 200-day moving average since November. Though it's still up 8.5% year-over-year, MRNA is 18% lower in 2023.


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