Nektar Therapeutics NKTR reported a loss of 14 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2017, substantially narrower than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 38 cents and the year-ago figure of 28 cents.
Shares of Nektar have significantly outperformed the industry in a year's time. The stock has skyrocketed 471.6% while the industry has decreased 2.6%.
Quarterly revenues substantially soared 154.7% to $95.5 million from the year-ago period. This upside can mainly be attributed to a massive rise in license and collaboration revenues. The top line also significantly beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31 million.
Quarter in Detail
The top line comprised product sales, royalty revenues, non-cash royalty revenues besides license, collaboration and other revenues.
In the fourth quarter, product sales tumbled 43.1% to $7.8 million from $13.7 million a year ago. However, non-cash royalty revenues increased 17.9% to $9.2 million.
The company reported royalty revenues of $9.6 million in the quarter under review, registering a huge improvement of 50% from $6.4 million a year ago. This uptrend was mainly on the back of royalty revenues received under a license agreement with AstraZeneca for Movantik and Shire plc for Adynovate.
License, collaboration and other revenues came in at $68.9 million compared with $9.6 million in the prior year. This upside was mainly due to a receipt of $60 million in non-recurring revenues related to a new sublicense agreement.
Research and development (R&D) expenses mounted 62.2% to $81.4 million, primarily due to investments in pipeline including key candidates NKTR-358, NKTR-214 and NKTR-181.
General and administrative (G&A) expenses were down 3.9% to $12.3 million in the reported quarter.
Full-year sales jumped 86% year over year to $307.7 million. Sales outpaced the consensus mark of $243.7 million as well as the previously guided range of $250-$255 million.
The 2017 loss of 35 cents per share was narrower than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 78 cents and the year-earlier figure of 80 cents.
The most advanced candidate in the company's portfolio is Onzeald, currently under evaluation in a phase III (ATTAIN) study for treatment of adults with advanced breast cancer, having brain metastases.
Apart from Onzeald, another candidate in the company's immuno-oncology portfolio is NKTR-214. Last year in September, Nektar announced initiation of phase I/II PROPEL study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of NKTR-214 in combination with Roche's RHHBY Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Merck's MRK Keytruda (pembrolizumab). Data from the trial is expected in the second half of 2018.
A phase I/II study evaluating NKTR-214 as a potential combination treatment regimen with Bristol-Myers Squibb's BMY Opdivo is also underway. The candidate is being examined across nine tumor types including melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder and triple negative breast cancer. The combo therapy will also be evaluated in more than 20 potential indications.
Another candidate, NKTR-181, is being evaluated in a phase III program for chronic pain management. Last July, the company reported positive top-line results from an oral human abuse potential study, evaluating NKTR-181, to assess the opioid abuse potential compared with oxycodone. The company is planning to submit a new drug application (NDA) for the candidate by April 2018.
Nektar estimates revenues in the range of $100-$110 million excluding payments from the collaboration with Bristol-Myers, entered last month. Per the agreement, both companies will jointly develop and commercialize the lead immuno-oncology candidate, NKTR-214, of the former in combination with the latter's Opdivo and Opdivo plus Yervoy (ipilimumab).
Nektar anticipates cash of approximately $1.9-$1.925 billion at year-end 2018 including upfront payments from the collaboration with Bristol-Myers.
Notably, cash and investments in marketable securities as of Dec 31, 2017 were $353.2 million in comparison to $389.1 million as of Dec 31, 2016.
Nektar Therapeutics Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Nektar Therapeutics Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Nektar Therapeutics Quote
Nektar carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
Don't Even Think About Buying Bitcoin Until You Read This
The most popular cryptocurrency skyrocketed last year, giving some investors the chance to bank 20X returns or even more. Those gains, however, came with serious volatility and risk. Bitcoin sank 25% or more 3 times in 2017.
Zacks' has just released a new Special Report to help readers capitalize on the explosive profit potential of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies with significantly less volatility than buying them directly.
See 4 crypto-related stocks now >>
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 Roche Holding AG (RHHBY): Free Stock Analysis Report Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY): Free Stock Analysis Report Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research