What happened

Shares of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) were jumping 3.9% higher as of 10:47 a.m. EST on Thursday after rising as much as 11.2% earlier in the day. The gain came after the biotech announced its fourth-quarter results before the market open.

So what

With the biotech stock moving higher, you'd expect that Moderna delivered great results on both its top and bottom lines. You'd be right -- but only in part.

Vaccine vials forming a dollar sign

Image source: Getty Images.

Moderna reported Q4 revenue of $571 million, a stark contrast to the $14 million in revenue generated in the prior-year period and well above the average analyst estimate of $279.4 million. The total included nearly $200 million in sales of COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273, which received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the U.S. and Canada in December.

However, Moderna posted a net loss of $272.5 million, or $0.69 per share. This was a lot worse than the net loss of $123.3 million, or $0.37 per share, recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. It also missed the Wall Street consensus estimate of a net loss of $0.35 per share. 

Investors didn't mind these mixed results, though, for one simple reason: Moderna should make more money this year than many anticipated from its COVID-19 vaccine. The company increased the lower end of its manufacturing range for 2021 to 700 million doses from 600 million doses. It hopes to supply as many as 1 billion doses of mRNA-1273 this year.

Now what

The future continues to look bright for Moderna. Because of soaring demand, the company is boosting its production capacity of mRNA-1273 for 2022 to 1.4 billion doses. Moderna should almost certainly continue to report tremendous revenue growth throughout this year and beyond.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.