Healthcare Business

Analyst Still Sees Dendreon Worth Only $1

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) remains a company in trouble. The post-earnings jump looked promising and investors probably took some comfort when shares popped from $2.88 up to $3.31. Unfortunately, that did not last and the stock is almost back at the $3.00 mark.

Now we have a Thursday report from BofA Merrill Lynch, reiterating an Underperform rating. What is worse than anything is that the biotech team sees the stock price objective down at just $1.00.

The thesis behind this reiterated negative call is that US sales appear to be stabilizing, and EU sales pushed out. The company confirmed its fourth quarter sales of Provenge were $74.8 million.

Unfortunately, the team said that new information from an update has Provenge sales in the range of $67 million. This would be down sequentially but flat from a year earlier.  They noted,

“Assuming US sales indeed stabilize, Dendreon continues to face business challenges, as it is unclear that the company can be profitable without a meaningful uptick in sales. We modestly increased our 2014 US sales estimate.”

A second issue is that Dendreon plans to make Provenge available in Europe on a limited basis in the U.K. and in Germany later in 2014. The team sees only limited EU Provenge sales potential.

Merrill Lynch is not projecting breakeven results until 2017, but that is based upon EU sales of over $100 million, further cost-cutting, and improving margins. The other issue is that the firm thinks that Dendreon will have to conduct a capital raise as its cash outlook remains bleak – it even assumes an $80 million equity raise in the second half of 2014, but with limited investor demand. It said,

“Management provided no guidance on plans for its $648 million underwater convertible debt ($28M due in 2014, $620M in 2016); we currently model a debt swap in 2015, but lack conviction on investor appetite for such a deal.”

Dendreon shares were down another 3% at $3.06 late on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $2.23 to $6.20.

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