How Alexion’s Pipeline Is Driving Earnings

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) released its most recent earnings report before the markets opened on Thursday. This company posted $1.26 in earnings per share (EPS) on $831 million in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters for $1.25 in EPS and $836.6 revenue of million. In the fourth quarter of last year, it posted EPS of $1.13 and $700.87 million in revenue.

This month, Alexion decided to reduce its investment in SBC-103, an investigational enzyme replacement therapy. Patients currently enrolled in the Phase 1/2 trial will continue to receive SBC-103, and no additional Alexion studies are planned. Alexion will reassess the value of this asset on a go forward basis.

In terms of guidance for the 2017 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $5.00 to $5.25 and revenues between $3.4 billion and $3.5 billion. The consensus estimates for the coming year are $5.54 in EPS and $3.54 billion in revenue.

A few of the key highlights from the reports:

  • Soliris net product sales were $749 million, compared to $689 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • Strensiq net product sales were $71 million, compared to $12 million.
  • Kanuma net product sales were $11 million.

The board of directors announced that it has increased the size of Alexion’s share repurchase authorization to a total of $1 billion. The company has a total market cap of around $30 billion.

On the books, Alexion cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $1.293 billion at the end of the quarter, down from $1.385 billion in the same period from last year.

David Brennan, interim CEO of Alexion, commented:

In 2016 the global Alexion team delivered on our patient-centered objectives as we grew our leadership in complement by serving more patients with PNH and aHUS, and continued to build our metabolic franchise with the global launches of Strensiq and Kanuma. We also achieved important regulatory milestones towards new indications for Soliris and initiated two registration studies for ALXN1210 to drive our future growth. Our 2017 guidance reflects double-digit revenue and EPS growth as we continue to grow our complement and metabolic franchises, prepare for the potential launches of Soliris in refractory gMG, and focus on our highest priority R&D programs.

Shares of Alexion closed Wednesday up nearly 2% at $132.00, with a consensus analyst price target of $167.93 and a 52-week trading range of $109.12 to $162.00. Following the earnings report, the stock was up 4.6% at $138.01 in early trading indications Thursday.