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VIVUS (VVUS) Q3 Loss Narrows, Qsymia Falters, Shares Down

Zacks

VIVUS Inc. VVUS reported a loss of 6 cents per share in the third quarter of 2017, which was narrower than a loss of 9 cents in the year-ago period and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 13 cents.

Quarterly revenues increased 13.8% from the year-ago period to $15.2 million.

Shares of the biotech company however fell more than 7.8% on Thursday on lower Qsymia sales. In fact, so far this year, VIVUS shares have underperformed the industry. The stock declined 43.4% during the period, while the industry witnessed a gain of 3.1%.


Quarter in Detail

The company’s weight management drug Qsymia generated net product sales of $9.9 million, down 19.4% from the year-ago period due to reduction in Qsymia inventory by wholesalers and unfavorable impact of change in revenue recognition methodology.

Supply and royalty revenues from Stendra/Spedra were $4.6 million in this quarter. The company had recorded no such revenues in the year-ago period.

Selling, general and administrative expense was $8.4 million, down 19.6% year over year, mainly attributable to cost control initiatives undertaken by the company. Research and development expense decreased almost 47.1% to $0.9 million in the reported quarter due to decrease efforts related to Qsymia regulatory requirements, partially offset by development of tacrolimus for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

During the quarter, VIVUS entered into settlement agreements with subsidiaries of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited TEVA and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited RDY related to the launch of generic versions of Qsymia. Per the agreements, Actavis (“Teva”) and Dr. Reddy's are authorized to sell a generic version of Qsymia from Dec 1, 2024 and Jun 1, 2025, respectively.

Moreover, the company signed an agreement with South Korea based Alvogen Malta Operations (ROW) Ltd granting marketing rights for Qsymia in the Republic of Korea for an upfront payment, milestone payments and royalties on sales.

VIVUS’ lead pipeline candidate, tacrolimus, was granted orphan designation by the European Medicines Agency for PAH indication. The company is on track to file an investigational new drug application for the candidate in the United States in the first half of 2018.

VIVUS, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

VIVUS, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | VIVUS, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

VIVUS carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the health care sector is Exelixis, Inc. EXEL, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates increased from 26 cents to 45 cents for 2017 and from 63 cents to 70 cents for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprise in all the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 572.92%. The company’s shares are up 77% so far this year.

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