(Bloomberg) -- Moderna Inc. shares shot up in trading after the company reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ expectations by gaining Covid vaccine market share on its rival, Pfizer Inc.

The company posted quarterly revenue of $2.8 billion for its Covid-19 vaccine, including $800 million in U.S. sales and $2 billion of international sales. While that was about a 45% decline from a year ago, it topped analysts’ estimates of $2.5 billion. Fourth-quarter sales included $600 million in deferred revenue related to Moderna’s work with GAVI, a global health initiative to boost immunization.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said it captured roughly half the US retail market during the fall Covid season, up from 37% in 2022. Moderna also reaffirmed its 2024 sales forecast of about $4 billion.

Moderna’s shares rose as much as 10% when markets opened in New York, their largest increase in over a month. As overall demand for Covid shots has waned, its stock has declined 45% over the past year as of Wednesday’s close. The S&P 500, to compare, is up 25% over the same time period.

Moderna’s business has faced mounting pressure as the world moves on from the pandemic and demand for Covid vaccines diminish. The company’s strategy is to develop new uses for its messenger RNA technology to also fight the flu, RSV, cancer and other ailments. In December, results of a study showed a personalized vaccine that Moderna developed with Merck & Co. helped prevent the recurrence of severe skin cancer for three years. 

The results provide a boost to the company as it enters a critical moment of its post-pandemic future. Moderna is expecting regulators to approve its second commercial product, a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, starting in the first half of this year. The company will compete in a market where GSK Plc and Pfizer Inc. already have a presence. Earlier this month, Moderna released data on its RSV vaccine for older adults that showed it may not protect people as long as competing shots. 

Moderna has said its RSV vaccine will have a competitive advantage because it’s the only one that comes in a pre-filled syringe, making it easier for pharmacists to administer. The company has also said it’s not possible to compare the safety and efficacy of its RSV shot with others without head-to-head clinical trials.

The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide on whether to approve Moderna’s RSV vaccine by May 12, the company said Thursday. 

In an interview, Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel said the company is focused on working with public health officials to boost vaccine rates and added that the expected approval for its RSV shot will “be a big step forward.” 

“A lot of people think we’re a Covid-only company but there is so much more to Moderna,” he said. He also defended the company’s RSV vaccine, saying “we believe we have a very competitive product.”

Moderna reported total revenue last year of $6.8 billion. It had previously forecast 2023 sales of at least $6 billion.

The company incurred additional charges of $169 million in the fourth quarter, largely related to ending some manufacturing operations, and an inventory writedown of $322 million due to revised demand forecasts. 

In a note, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said Moderna’s efforts to lower its costs by reducing its manufacturing capacity were “encouraging” and helped the company beat profit expectations in the quarter.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Bancel said Moderna’s combination vaccine for Covid and flu could hit the market as soon as fall of 2025. 

(Updates with share move, analyst reaction starting in second paragraph.)

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