Alexion's third-quarter 2014 earnings of $1.14 per share beat the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9 cents. Higher-than-expected revenues
led to impressive results. Earnings were above the year-ago figure
by 56.2%. The company's revenues jumped 39% in the quarter to
$555.1 million. The company upped its earnings guidance to the
range of $5.15 to $5.20 per share. Revenues for 2014 are expected
in the range of $2.22 billion to $2.225 billion (old guidance:
$2.18 billion to $2.2 billion). Growth at Alexion is expected to be
driven by strong Soliris sales. Alexion expects several product
approvals in the coming years. Successful development and
commercialization of these candidates will reduce the company's
dependence on Soliris for growth. We remain Neutral on the stock.
Based in Cheshire, CT, Alexion Pharmaceuticals is a
biopharmaceutical company formed in 1992. The company focuses on
the development and commercialization of life-transforming drugs
for treating patients suffering from ultra-rare disorders.
Alexion's only marketed product is Soliris (eculizumab). Soliris
is available in the U.S, EU, Japan and many other countries for the
treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). PNH is a
rare genetic blood disorder characterized by the onset of severe
hemolytic anemia, chronic fatigue and intermittent episodes of dark
colored urine, known as hemoglobinuria. Currently, Soliris is the
only drug available for the treatment of PNH patients. In Sep 2011,
the FDA granted accelerated approval to Soliris for treating
children and adults suffering from atypical hemolytic uremic
syndrome (aHUS), an ultra-rare genetic disorder. Regular approval
came in May 2014.
In Nov 2011, approval for the drug was granted in the EU.
Japanese approval for the aHUS indication came in Sep 2013. Soliris
is being studied for additional indications. The drug recorded
sales of $1.55 billion in 2013, up 37%.
Alexion currently has several candidates in clinical development
focusing on different areas. The company is also working on
expanding Soliris' label into additional indications like
Shiga-toxin producing e. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome,
neuromyelitis optica and myasthenia gravis.
Alexion's pipeline also includes asfotase alfa
(hypophosphatasia), ALXN 1101 (molybdenum cofactor deficiency type
A) and ALXN1007 (inflammatory disorders). Asfotase alfa was added
to Alexion's pipeline following its 2012 acquisition of Enobia
Pharma for up to $1.08 billion in cash. Alexion expects to launch
seven products through 2018.
Alexion is making constant efforts to expand. Towards fulfilling
this objective, the company inked a deal with privately held
Moderna Therapeutics in Jan 2014 for the discovery and development
of messenger ribo nucleic acid (mRNA) therapeutics to treat
patients suffering from rare diseases. The Enobia acquisition,
mentioned above, was another move towards the fulfillment of the
In Feb 2011, Alexion purchased the patents and assets of
Germany-based Orphatec Pharmaceuticals for $3 million in cash. The
purchase is related to a therapy for a rare genetic disorder that
results in severe brain damage and can prove to be fatal in
newborns. In Jan 2011, Alexion purchased privately held Taligen
Therapeutics for an upfront cash payment of $111 million. With the
Taligen acquisition, Alexion acquired ophthalmic candidates,
including candidates for treating patients suffering from
age-related macular degeneration (AMD), in addition to other
candidates to combat inflammatory diseases.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN): Read the Full
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