Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. 's ( ALXN ) first quarter
2013 earnings (excluding special items but including stock-based
compensation expense) of 57 cents per share beat the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 5 cents and the year-ago adjusted earnings by
19 cents per share.
Higher product sales boosted first quarter earnings. Including
one-time items, first quarter 2013 earnings came in at 41 cents per
share, up 78.3%.
Alexion's revenues jumped 38% to approximately $338.9 million in
the first quarter of 2013 driven by strong Soliris sales. Revenues
surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $335 million.
Alexion's only marketed product, Soliris, is available for the
treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare
genetic blood disorder and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome
(aHUS), an ultra-rare genetic disorder. Soliris continued to
perform well with new patient additions in the PNH indication. The
successful label expansion into the aHUS indication boosted
Adjusted operating expenses climbed 37.1% to $164.4 million in the
first quarter of 2013. The increase was attributable to a rise in
both research and development (R&D) expenses (up 57.7%) and
selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (up 25.7%).
The jump in R&D expenses was attributable to the company's
efforts to develop its pipeline.
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 (STEC-HUS),
neuromyelitis optica and myasthenia gravis.
Alexion's pipeline also includes asfotase alfa (hypophosphatasia),
ALXN1102/ALXN1103 (hematology), and ALXN1007 (inflammatory
Apart from announcing financial results for the first quarter,
Alexion raised its outlook for 2013. The company raised its revenue
guidance to $1.505-$1.520 billion from the previous forecast of
The company also raised its adjusted earnings guidance for 2013
from $2.82-$2.92 per share to $2.87 to $2.97 per share. Soliris
should continue performing well, driving growth at Alexion. The
Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 pegs earnings at $2.63 per share
on revenues of $1.5 billion.
Alexion carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Favorably placed stocks
include UCB SA ( UCBJF ),
Athersys, Inc. ( ATHX ) and
Celgene Corporation ( CELG ). While UCB and
Athersys, Inc. carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Celgene carries
a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).ALEXION PHARMA (ALXN): Free Stock Analysis
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