Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s ALXN fourth-quarter 2016 earnings (including stock-based compensation expense) of $1.10 cents per share compared with the year ago earnings of 78 cents. Earnings, were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.10.
Revenues, on the other hand, rose 19% year over year to $831 million. The impact of currency headwind on the top line was 2% ($12 million). The figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $837 million.
Shares of Alexion were up almost 4% in pre-market trading. This year so far, Alexion’s share price increased 7.9% compared with the Zacks classified Medical – Biomedical and Genetics industry’s gain of 5.3%.
Revenue in Detail
Soliris sales were down 8.7% to $749 million during the quarter.
Strensiq and Kanuma contributed $71 million and $11 million, respectively, to quarterly revenues.
Earnings for the full year came in at $4.04 per share which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.86 per share.
The company posted revenues of $3.08 billion, up 18% year over year.
Alexion expects revenues in the range of $3.4 to $3.5 billion for 2017. Revenues for Soliris are projected to be in the range of $3.03 to $3.1 billion.
The company’s earnings are expected to be in the range of $5.00 to $5.25 per share.
The company continues to progress with the candidates in its pipeline. The company filed regulatory submissions for Soliris for the treatment of patients with refractory generalized myasthenia in both the U.S. and Europe. It is evaluating Soliris in a couple of phase III studies – PREVENT, for the treatment of relapsing neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder; During the quarter the company announced that its study – PROTECT, for the treatment of delayed graft function did not meet its primary endpoint.
Alexion reported in line earnings whereas the revenues missed expectations. We expect growth at Alexion to continue being driven by Soliris. Other new products – Strensiq and Kanuma – should boost revenues and eventually reduce the company’s dependence on Soliris for growth. We are also impressed by Alexion’s efforts to develop its pipeline.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Alexion currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Sunesis Pharmaceuticals SNSS, Exact Sciences Corp. EXAS, and GlaxoSmithKline plc GSK. While Sunesis carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Exact Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Sunesis’ loss estimates narrowed by 5.06% and 8.80% for 2016 and 2017, respectively, over the past 30 days. The company recorded a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters, the average being 0.54%.
Exact Sciences’ loss estimates narrowed by 0.58% and 1.43% for 2016 and 2017, respectively, over the past 30 days. The company recorded a positive earnings surprise in all of the last four quarters, the average being 14.12%.
GlaxoSmithKline’s earnings estimates increased from $2.71 to $2.76 for 2017 and from $2.80 to $2.85 for 2018 over the last 7 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 11.03%. Its share price increased 5.3% year to date.
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