Wider-than-Expected Loss at Aegerion - Analyst Blog


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Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( AEGR ) reported first quarter 2014 net loss per share of 54 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 35 cents but narrower than the year-ago loss of 64 cents per share.

Net product revenues for the quarter were $27 million from Juxtapid, which is the sole marketed product at Aegerion. The company reported $1.2 million of revenues in the year-ago quarter (first quarter of Juxtapid launch). Juxtapid revenues rose sequentially by 10.1%. However, revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $34 million.

In the reported quarter, research and development (R&D) expenses were $7.9 million, compared with $5.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase in R&D spend reflects expenses related to increased employee costs and clinical development expenses.

Selling, general and administrative expenses swelled 140.9% year over year to $31.8 million, mainly due to a higher headcount, outside services for the marketing of Juxtapid in the U.S., global expansion and increased legal fees.

Juxtapid is approved for the treatment of patients suffering from homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH). The drug was launched in the U.S. in late Jan 2013. 96% of Juxtapid sales came from the U.S. However, ex-U.S. sales in Brazil were adversely affected by longer turnaround times between price quotation and order at the federal level. This delayed the receipt of orders from the government.

The company commenced a phase III study of Juxtapid in Japanese HoFH patients in Apr 2014. Aegerion plans to submit the new drug application in Japan in mid 2015.

2014 Outlook Lowered

The 2014 guidance was reduced primarily due to longer turnaround times and purchase order delays in Brazil. For 2014, Aegerion cut its net revenues guidance from the range of $190-$210 million to $180-$200 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the year currently stands at $202 million.

Aegerion carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Demand for Juxtapid has been solid since its launch five quarters back. In the reported quarter, Juxtapid has seen steady growth in the number of prescriptions written in the U.S. Aegerion expects the second half of the year to bring in more Juxtapid revenues.

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering include  Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( ALXN ), Allergan Inc. ( AGN ) and Gilead Sciences Inc. ( GILD ). Alexion Pharma and Gilead Sciences carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Allergan holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

AEGERION PHARMA (AEGR): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALLERGAN INC (AGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALEXION PHARMA (ALXN): Free Stock Analysis Report

GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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