QLT's (QLTI) Reports In-Line Q3 Loss, Merger in Focus

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QLT Inc. QLTI reported a loss of 11 cents per share in the third quarter of 2016, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but wider than the year-ago loss of 5 cents. The company did not report any revenues during the quarter, as was the case a year ago.

The company's research and development expenses were $2.9 million in the quarter, up 33.2% year over year. This increase was mainly due to higher costs related to preparatory activities for the company's upcoming phase III pivotal study on QLT091001.

Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped slightly to $3.1 million in the reported quarter.

In the quarter, consulting and advisory fees were $1.9 million due to the pending merger transaction with Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AEGR .

We note that QLT and Aegerion agreed to a merger in Jun 2016 which will lead to the formation of a global biopharmaceutical company, Novelion Therapeutics Inc. The merger is expected to close in the current quarter.

Update on QLT091001

QLT is continuing with the development of its primary pipeline candidate's QLT091001 phase III pivotal study start-up activities. The phase III study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the candidate in patients for the treatment of inherited retinal disease phenotypically diagnosed as leber congenital amaurosis or retinitis pigmentosa caused by RPE65 or LRAT gene mutations. The company plans to start the study in the current quarter.

The company is currently considering submitting to the FDA a request for a Rare Pediatric Disease designation for QLT091001.

We note that QLT091001 already enjoys QLT091001 Fast Track and Orphan Drug status in the U.S. for the above mentioned indication.

QLT INC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

QLT INC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | QLT INC Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

QLT currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INFI and Exelixis, Inc. EXEL . Infinity sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Exelixis carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Infinity's loss estimates narrowed from $3.84 to $3.79 for 2016 but remained unchanged for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company posted positive surprises in all of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 67.62%.

Exelixis' loss estimates narrowed from 71 cents to 61 cents for 2016 and from loss of 16 cents to earnings of 4 cents for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company has posted positive surprises twice in the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 9.1%.

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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.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: EXEL , INFI

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