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Acorda Q4 Earnings Decline Y/Y, Ampyra & Pipeline in Focus

Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. 's ACOR fourth-quarter 2015 earnings came in at 28 cents per share (excluding the impact of stock-based compensation expense), 39.1% below the year-ago earnings. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was a loss of 8 cents per share.

Total revenues for the quarter were $130.9 million, up 11.1% from the year-ago quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $129 million.

Full year revenues increased 22.7% to $492.7 million while earnings declined 39.7% to $1.05 per share.

The Quarter in Detail

The bulk of net product revenues at Acorda came from Ampyra, which generated $122 million in the reported quarter, up 11% from the year-ago period and 4.3% on a sequential basis.

We note that Acorda has settled with four of the ten companies challenging the Ampyra patent. Meanwhile, the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trials and Appeal Board (PTAB) is expected to come out with a decision in Mar 2016 on whether or not to institute inter partes reviews (IPR) related to some of the Ampyra Orange Book-listed patents.

Acorda is currently evaluating a twice-daily formulation of Ampyra in a phase III study for post-stroke deficits with an interim analysis expected this year. Acorda also expects to provide an update on the once-daily formulation by the end of the first quarter.

Ampyra is marketed in ex-U.S. markets under the trade name Fampyra by Biogen Inc. BIIB . Fampyra royalties were $3.3 million, up 43.5% from the year-ago period.

Zanaflex capsules and tablets recorded revenue and royalties of $3.3 million compared with $3.2 million in the year-ago period.

Acorda's research and development (R&D) expenses shot up 69.9% from the year-ago period to $44 million. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses came in at $53 million, down 6.2% from the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, the company continues to progress with its pipeline.

Reiterates Outlook

Acorda expects Ampyra sales of $475 - $485 million in 2016. Meanwhile, the company expects to spend $165 - $175 million on R&D, and $195 - $205 million on SG&A, excluding share-based compensation costs.

Our Take

Acorda had already provided a preliminary look at its fourth quarter and full year Ampyra sales earlier this year in January. Ampyra should continue performing well in 2016. Acorda is looking to expand Ampyra's label and is conducting a phase III study for post-stroke deficits. Meanwhile, the company continues to work on expanding its pipeline by entering into deals and pursuing acquisitions. The Biotie Therapies Corp. BITI acquisition, slated to close in the third quarter, will boost Acorda's Parkinson's disease (PD) pipeline. We are also positive on the company's pipeline efforts.

However, the Ampyra patent challenge situation will remain an overhang with a trial scheduled for Sep 2016. With Ampyra facing several patent challenges, focus will remain on the company's pipeline development efforts and ability to bring new products to market.

Acorda is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD is a better-ranked stock in the biotech sector carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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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.


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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