Acorda Therapeutics Inc.
) reported first quarter earnings (including share-based
compensation charges) of 26 cents per share, compared to a loss of
2 cents in the year-ago period.
First quarter 2012 earnings came in at 19 cents per share,
including a one-time charge of $2.5 million. The Zacks Consensus
Estimate was 15 cents per share.
Quarterly revenues increased 16.3% to $71.2 million, beating the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $70.0 million.
Quarter in Detail
Product sales consisted mainly of Ampyra. Ampyra sales came in
at $57.4 million, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 22.7%.
However, Ampyra revenues remained flat on a sequential basis,
mainly due to weak demand in January. Acorda said that demand was
affected by the switching of insurance plans, pharmacy benefit
providers and specialty pharmacies by patients at the end of 2011.
Acorda said that sales rebounded from Feb through April.
Acorda has a licensing agreement with
) for the development and commercialization of Ampyra outside the
U.S. In July 2011, Biogen received conditional approval for Fampyra
(ex-U.S. trade name of Ampyra) in the E.U., as a treatment for
improved walking in adult patients with multiple sclerosis. Fampyra
royalties on ex-U.S. sales were $1.8 million in the reported
quarter, in comparison to $0.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
Acorda also has a supply agreement with
) for manufacturing Ampyra.
Zanaflex capsules and tablets recorded sales of $7.2 million in
the first quarter, down 41% from the year-ago figure. We expect
Zanaflex revenues to decline further due to the presence of generic
competition. Canadian generic firm, Apotex Inc., launched its
generic version of Zanaflex in early Feb 2012. Acorda also launched
an authorized generic version of Zanaflex at the same time in
While revenues from the sale of the authorized generic version
of Zanaflex were $1.1 million, royalties from Watson for the sale
of the authorized generic version amounted to $1.5 million.
Acorda's research and development (R&D) expenses increased
2.8% to $11.0 million. Excluding a $2.5 million payment related to
the Neuronex agreement, R&D expenses came in at $8.5 million.
Acorda continues to spend on Ampyra post marketing studies and life
cycle management programs of Ampyra and pipeline development.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses came in
at $38.7 million, up 2.1% from the year-ago period.
Guidance for 2012
Acorda maintained its Ampyra revenue guidance of $255 million -
$275 million. With Ampyra sales rebounding from Feb 2012, the
guidance should be achievable. Moreover, Acorda is working on
increasing awareness of Ampyra, which should drive sales.
The company also maintained its guidance for royalties on
Fampyra sales and revenue from the Zanaflex franchise of at least
While R&D spending is expected in the range of $50 - $60
million in 2012, SG&A spending is expected to be about $145 -
Ampyra is currently in a proof-of-concept study in adults with
cerebral palsy - initial results should be out later this year.
Another proof-of-concept study of Ampyra in patients with
post-stroke deficits will be initiated in the second quarter of the
Meanwhile, patient enrollment for a phase II study of AC105 in
patients with acute spinal cord injury is scheduled to commence in
the second half of the year. Results of GGFR, which is currently in
a phase I study in heart failure patients, should be out in the
second half of the year.
We currently have an Outperform recommendation on Acorda. We are
pleased with the conditional approval of Fampyra in the E.U.
Although Ampyra's sales were flat on a sequential basis in the
first quarter of 2012, we expect sales to rebound. We expect
investor focus to remain on the sales ramp-up of Ampyra.
Meanwhile, the upcoming Neuronex acquisition is in line with the
company's strategy of expanding its portfolio by in-licensing a
development or commercialization stage neurology product.
Acorda carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term 'Hold' rating).
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