Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
) third quarter 2012 earnings (excluding special items but
including stock-based compensation expense) of 53 cents per share
beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12 cents. Third quarter 2012
earnings increased 65.6% from the year-ago period. Higher product
sales boosted third quarter earnings.
Alexion's revenues jumped 44.2% to $294.1 million in the
reported quarter driven by strong sales of Soliris. Revenues
comfortably surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $293
Soliris, Alexion's only marketed product, 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 26.5% to $130.9 million in
the reported quarter. The increase was attributable to a hike in
both research and development (R&D) expenses (up 48.4%) and
selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (up
Alexion currently has several candidates in clinical
development focusing on different areas including hematology,
nephrology and neurology. The company is also working on
expanding Soliris' label for additional indications like
Shiga-toxin producing e. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome
(STEC-HUS), acute humoral kidney rejection (AHR), neuromyelitis
optica (NMO) and myasthenia gravis (MG). Alexion's pipeline also
includes asfotase alfa (hypophosphatasia), ALXN1102 (inflammatory
disorders), ALXN1007 (inflammatory disorders).
Apart from announcing financial results for the third quarter,
Alexion raised its adjusted outlook for 2012. The company expects
2012 adjusted earnings in the range of $1.78-$1.88 per share
(previous guidance: $1.99-$2.04). The revised guidance range is
well above the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.66 per
Encouraged by the strong sales of Soliris, Alexion now expects
2012 revenues in the range of $1.120-$1.130 billion, as opposed
to the previously forecasted range of $1.110-$1.125 billion. The
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.127 billion is well within the
company's new guidance range.
Alexion decreased its adjusted SG&A guidance to $345-$355
million from the old guidance of $360-$370 million. The company
also decreased its R&D guidance range for the year to
$210-$220 million from the previous range of $220-$230
Currently, we have a Neutral recommendation on Alexion, which
carries a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term hold rating). We are
impressed by the continued strong sales of Alexion's sole
marketed product, Soliris. However, we remain concerned about
Alexion's overdependence on a single product and the lack of
ALEXION PHARMA (ALXN): Free Stock Analysis
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