BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. BDSI reported loss of 10 cents per share for fourth-quarter 2018, meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate. In the year-ago quarter, the company had recorded a loss of 29 cents per share.
Revenues were $18 million in the reported quarter, up 44.1% from the year-ago period and 27.4% sequentially. The increase in sales was mainly driven by strong demand for Belbuca, which exceeded the company's expectations. The top line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16.15 million.
BioDelivery's shares were up 3.9% in after-market hours on Mar 15 due to the strong performance of Belbuca as well as future expectations for the drug. Shares of the company have gained 24.8% so far this year compared with the industry 's 14.4% increase.
Quarter in Detail
BioDelivery's chronic pain drug, Belbuca, continued its strong sequential growth trend of 2018 into the fourth quarter. The company witnessed consistent increase in new patients as well as in total prescription every quarter in 2018. The drug generated revenues of $15.9 million in the quarter, rising 28.3% sequentially. Sales surged 68.3% year over year.
The company reacquired worldwide rights to Belbuca in early 2017 from Endo International Plc ENDP .
During the quarter, the company recorded all-time high prescription volumes of almost 56,000 prescriptions for Belbuca. Prescription volume for Belbuca expanded 27% sequentially and 126% year over year.
In 2018, the company successfully added Belbuca to the preferred coverage list of several pharmacy benefit managers. In November, the company brought more than 100 million patients under preferred coverage by adding the drug to OptumRx's preferred formulary list. Subsequently in February, the company added the drug to a preferred formulary of Cigna Healthcare, the managed care division of Cigna Corporation CI .
The company has brought 115 million patients under preferred coverage so far in 2019, having started with 7 million in 2018. It has also expanded its sales force to support the growth and reach of the drugs to eligible or covered patients.
The company added approximately 1,100 new patients to Belbuca treatment during the quarter, higher than the 900 new patients in the previous two quarters. Management seems confident about Belbuca's continued strong performance in 2019.
Moreover, the settlement of the patent litigation with Teva Pharmaceuticals TEVA in early 2018 will keep generic competition at bay till mid-2027.
Operating expenses increased 30.3% to $18.5 million due to expansion of commercial and medical teams. However, operating expenses fell 14.4% year over year.
BioDelivery reported total revenues of $55.6 million in 2018, down 10.2% year over year. The decline was due to $20 million recorded as contract revenues in 2017 related to the termination of the licensing agreement with Endo for Belbuca rights. Excluding contract revenues, total revenues grew 32.5% in 2018.
Total sales of Belubca during 2018 were $46 million, up 70.5% year over year.
For the full year, the company incurred an adjusted loss of 54 cents per share compared with adjusted loss of 67 cents per share in the year-ago period.
The company ended 2018 with $43.8 million in cash and cash equivalents.
The company guided total revenues to in the range of $85 million to $90 million for 2019. The guided range is higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $82.15 million.
The company expects Belbuca sales to be between $80 and $85 million, indicating an almost 80% increase at the mid-point of the range. The company expects the drug to achieve annual net sales of $250 million to $300 million over the long term.
The company anticipates to turn operating cash flow positive in 2019.
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. Quote
BioDelivery currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
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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 Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI): Free Stock Analysis Report Endo International plc (ENDP): Free Stock Analysis Report Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research