) first quarter 2012 net loss (excluding special items) of 73 cents
per share compared unfavorably with the year-ago earnings of $1.04
and the Zacks Consensus loss Estimate of 38 cents per share. Lower
revenues and higher costs hurt results during the first quarter of
Revenues in the first quarter of 2012 came in at $14.4 million
as opposed to $69.3 million in the year-ago quarter. We note that
revenues in the year-ago quarter were boosted by the receipt of
$69.2 million as upfront milestone payment from Optimer's partner
Astellas Pharma regarding Optimer's sole marketed drug
We remind investors that Dificid was launched in the U.S. in
July 2011 for treating patients suffering from clostridium
difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD)-the most common form of
nosocomial, or hospital acquired, diarrhea. Net sales of the drug
came in at $14.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, up 31%
sequentially. Dificid was approved in the European Union (E.U.)
under the trade name, Dificlir, in December 2011. Revenues were
well short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $30 million.
We note that Optimer has an exclusive two-year agreement with
) (through July 2013) to co-promote Dificid in the U.S. for the
treatment of CDAD.
Both selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (up
116%) and research & development (R&D) expenses (up 32%)
were on the upswing during the reported quarter. The massive
increase in SG&A expenses was primarily attributable to the
costs incurred by Optimer towards the marketing of Dificid. The
increase in R&D expenses was attributable to higher publication
and other expenses pertaining to the Dificid's marketing.
Currently, we have a Neutral stance on Optimer in the long
run. The company carries a Zacks #2 Rank ("Buy" rating) in the
CUBIST PHARM (CBST): Free Stock Analysis Report
OPTIMER PHARMAC (OPTR): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.