Acorda Up After Q4 Earnings - Analyst Blog

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Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. 's ( ACOR ) shares, which had gained 10% immediately after reporting fourth quarter results were announced, lost some of the gains in the subsequent trading session (shares were down 2.3%). Overall, shares are up 7.5% since earnings were reported.

Acorda's fourth quarter earnings of 15 cents per share were 3 cents below the Zacks Consensus Estimate but well above the year-ago earnings of 9 cents per share.

Total revenues for the quarter were $92.6 million, up 13.6% from the year-ago quarter. Revenues were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Full year 2013 earnings came in at 42 cents per share, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 39 cents. Earnings were, however, below the year-ago figure of 72 cents per share. Total revenues for 2013 were $336.4 million, up 0.4% and above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $335 million.

Quarter in Details

The bulk of net product revenues at Acorda came from Ampyra, which generated $84.6 million in the reported quarter, up 16.4% from the year-ago period. Ampyra revenues increased 8.7% on a sequential basis.

Acorda's Ampyra is marketed in the ex-U.S. markets under the trade name Fampyra by Biogen Idec ( BIIB ). Fampyra royalties grew 69.2% from the year-ago period to $2.2 million.

Zanaflex capsules and tablets recorded revenues of $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, down 38.5%. Acorda has authorized Actavis, Inc. ( ACT ) to commercialize the generic version of Zanaflex.

Acorda's research and development (R&D) expenses decreased 21.4% to $14.3 million (including $1.6 million of share-based compensation). Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses came in at $47 million, up 3.1% from the year-ago period.

2014 Outlook

Ampyra sales are expected to increase in 2014 to $328-$335 million. The company pointed out that first quarter sales are usually lower than subsequent quarter sales.

Acorda expects to spend $60 million-$70 million on R&D. Acorda intends to commence a phase III study evaluating a once-daily (QD) formulation of Ampyra in the second quarter of 2014 once FDA approval for the study protocol is obtained.

Meanwhile, SG&A spend is expected in the range of $180 million - $190 million. The guidance includes commercialization expenses associated with the potential launch of Plumiaz (proposed trade name for diazepam nasal spray) which is yet to gain FDA approval. The company is looking to get the candidate approved for the treatment of people with epilepsy who experience cluster seizures.

Zanaflex and Fampyra revenues are expected to be $25 million in 2014. This includes amortized revenues of $9.1 million resulting from the $110 million payment received from Biogen for Fampyra.

Our Take

Acorda's fourth quarter results were mixed. Although earnings missed expectations, revenues surpassed our expectations. Ampyra's performance improved on a sequential basis. We expect investor focus to remain on pipeline updates.

Acorda carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the biotech sector is Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ( ALXN ) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

ACORDA THERAPT (ACOR): Free Stock Analysis Report

ACTAVIS PLC (ACT): Free Stock Analysis Report

ALEXION PHARMA (ALXN): Free Stock Analysis Report

BIOGEN IDEC INC (BIIB): 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.

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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