The share price of
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) fell 6.7% after the company announced its first quarter results
on Mar 7. Since then, share prices have however recovered 3.3%.
Achillion reported a first quarter 2014 loss of 17 cents per
share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but wider than the
loss of 14 cents recorded in the first quarter of 2013.
Achillion did not record any revenues in the first quarter 2014
and so was the case in first quarter 2013.
Quarter in Detail
In the first quarter of 2014, general and administrative
expenses increased 10.4% to $3.4 million due to higher salaries,
non-cash stock based compensation and increased insurance costs.
Research and development (R&D) expenses increased 47.3% year
over year to $12.8 million, reflecting higher investment in
Achillion primarily focuses on developing therapies for
hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The company has initiated
several studies on its HCV candidates including ACH-3102 (phase
II), ACH-3422 (phase I) and ACH-2684 (phase II).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a
clinical hold on sovaprevir. The FDA had placed a clinical hold on
sovaprevir after observing elevations in liver enzymes in a phase I
study. The company expects to receive a response from the FDA on
sovaprevir during the second quarter of 2014.
We believe that in the near term investor focus will be on
Achillion's HCV pipeline candidates. However, we note that HCV
represents a highly crowded market. Moreover, many large cap
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Gilead Sciences Inc.
) are developing drugs for the treatment of HCV.
Achillion carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Investors looking for
better-ranked stocks may consider companies like Gilead carrying a
Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research?
Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days.
Click to get this free report
ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report
ACHILLION PHARM (ACHN): Free Stock Analysis
BRISTOL-MYERS (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.