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No Surprise Here: BioNTech's Q3 Results Driven by Its COVID-19 Vaccine Program

By Keith Speights – Nov 10, 2020 at 1:23PM

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The German biotech thinks that its prospects are brighter than ever.

How does a company follow an announcement that caused the entire stock market to soar? If it's BioNTech (BNTX 1.63%), the company reports well-received quarterly results the next day.

On Monday, BioNTech and its big partner Pfizer (PFE 1.04%) released fantastic interim efficacy results from a late-stage study of COVID-19 vaccine candidate BNT162b2. BioNTech announced third-quarter results before the market opened on Tuesday. Here are the highlights from the German biotech's Q3 update. 

Hands of a physician drawing up a vaccine from a vial.

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

BioNTech reported revenue in the third quarter of 67.5 million euros. This reflected a 135% increase from the prior-year period revenue total of 28.7 million euros. It also topped the consensus analysts' revenue estimate of 63.8 million euros.

The company announced a net loss in the third quarter of 210 million euros, or 0.88 euros per share. This result was much worse than the net loss of 30.1 million euros, or 0.14 euros per share, reported in the prior-year period. It also missed the average analysts' estimate of a net loss of 0.42 euros per share.

BioNTech ended the third quarter with cash and cash equivalents of 990.5 million euros ($1.16 billion). This amount nearly doubled the company's cash position of 519.1 million euros at the end of 2019.

Behind the numbers

The big revenue increase for BioNTech in Q3 stemmed from its collaboration agreements with Pfizer and Chinese drugmaker Fosun Pharma related to the BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine program. This program was also the main factor behind BioNTech's sharp increase in expenses, which caused its bottom line to be worse compared to the prior-year period.

Expenses rose across the board. Research and development spending more than quadrupled year over year to 227.7 million euros. General and administrative expenses more than doubled to 23.3 million euros. All of the increased spending directly related to BioNTech's BNT162 program.

The advances for BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine candidate are deservedly the main focus for investors. However, the biotech also continued to make progress with its oncology pipeline. Since the beginning of Q3, BioNTech has provided updates for four oncology candidates: BNT111, BNT114, BNT131, and BNT311. The company has 11 oncology candidates in total that are being evaluated in 12 ongoing clinical trials.

Looking ahead

There's no secret about what the biggest potential catalyst for the German biotech stock will be. BioNTech and Pfizer expect to have enough safety data to file for FDA Emergency Use Authorization next week. If all goes according to plan, the two companies could be the first to launch a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin stated in the biotech's Q3 earnings press release, "We believe the prospects for the company have never been brighter." Based on all that BioNTech has going on right now, he's undoubtedly right.

Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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