Moderna posted a surprise quarterly profit as the company continues to pivot from its COVID-19 vaccine success to developing treatments in other disease states.

The company recorded a net income of $217 million in Q4 2023 Thursday morning, down from $1.4 billion one year prior, but the diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.55 exceeded analyst expectations for a loss. 

For the quarter, total revenue dropped from just over $5 billion in Q4 2022 to $2.8 billion, while total operating expenses fell from $3.5 billion to $2.8 billion over the same period.

The drop in revenue reflects the reality that demand for COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax, the company’s lone product, has waned significantly as the pandemic has transitioned into endemicity. 

For the year in total, Moderna recorded revenues of $6.8 billion, down from $19.2 billion in 2022. While the company reported a net income of $8.3 billion in 2022, it recorded a net loss of $4.7 billion in 2023.

Similarly, the organization’s diluted EPS of $20.12 in 2022 was recorded as a net loss of $12.33 last year.

Looking ahead, Moderna projects full-year revenue of approximately $4 billion from its respiratory franchise.

As for the future, Moderna is moving forward with its plan to expand its treatment areas beyond COVID, with an eye on RSV first. 

The company said it expects regulatory approvals for its RSV in the first half of the year.

This comes as Big Pharma rivals have already made significant progress in the RSV market since gaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration last year.

In recent earnings reports, Pfizer said its RSV vaccine Abrysvo generated $515 million in global revenues while GSK stated that Arexvy contributed £1.2 billion in sales.

“2023 was a year of transition for Moderna as we adapted to the endemic market. At the same time, our development team made significant pipeline advancements across infectious diseases, oncology and rare diseases, while our commercial team increased our COVID-19 market share in the U.S.,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. “We look forward to the anticipated approvals of our RSV vaccine beginning in the first half of the year. With multiple upcoming Phase 3 data readouts in 2024, we remain focused on commercial execution and continued investment in our pipeline with financial discipline.”

The company also posted a 17-minute-long video recap of Bancel and CFO Jamey Mock discussing the quarterly earnings on its website.

Outside of RSV, Moderna stated that it intends to file for regulatory approval of its seasonal flu vaccine this year, though conversations with regulators are still ongoing.

Additionally, Moderna anticipates data from studies pertaining to both its next-gen COVID vaccine and its combination seasonal flu and COVID vaccine later this year. 

The company is developing several promising candidates for other diseases as well, releasing data with Merck at the end of the year that found an experimental cancer vaccine, when used in combination with Keytruda, reduced the risk of death or relapse in patients with the most deadly form of skin cancer by half after roughly three years.

Another key development during the quarter was the company’s announcement in December that chief commercial officer Arpay Garay would be departing in the coming months, though he is remaining an advisor during the transition.