What happened

Shares of Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) were up 13.5% at 1:32 p.m. EDT on Friday after the company reported a 62.3% increase in second-quarter revenue, and management said to expect more growth in the second half of the year.

So what

Emergent BioSolutions' revenue tends to be lumpy since it's largely based on deliveries of bioterrorism products to the strategic national stockpile. The year-ago quarter had minimal sales of Emergent's anthrax vaccines and its smallpox vaccine ACAM2000, because the products were transitioning to new government contracts. With the contracts in effect, sales have bounced back, although the increases were party offset by declining sales of anthrax treatment raxibacumab and vaccines given to travelers.

Emergent's contract manufacturing services are a small but increasingly exciting part of the company's business in light of the pandemic. Emergent has secured multiple contracts to help drugmakers develop coronavirus vaccines. In the second quarter, the unit brought in revenue of $72.6 million, up $53.9 million from the $18.7 million in the year-ago quarter.

The increase in sales of products and revenue from contract manufacturing helped drive a profit of $1.73 per share, compared with a loss of $0.18 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Worker checking on a bioreactor

A worker checks on a bioreactor, which can produce vaccines. Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Having recently secured additional contracts, management increased 2020 revenue guidance to between $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion, up substantially from a previous range of $1.175 billion to $1.275 billion. While most of the increased guidance is tied to the COVID-19 contracts, management also increased expectations for revenue from anthrax vaccines that will be shipped to the strategic national stockpile this year.