Technology

Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR) Down 12.9% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR). Shares have lost about 12.9% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Esperion Therapeutics due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Esperion Reports Wider-Than-Expected Q4 Loss

Esperion incurred a loss of $2.24 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.33. The company’s loss was $1.44 per share in the year-ago period.

With no approved products in its portfolio, the company did not generate any revenues in the reported quarter. However, the company has filed regulatory applications seeking approval for its key candidates – bempedoic acid monotherapy and bempedoic acid / Merck’s (MRK) Zetia (ezetimibe) combination pill.

Quarter in Details

Research and development (R&D) expenses surged 47.9% from the year-ago period to $49.5 million. The rise was primarily due to higher cost needed to support development of bempedoic acid monotherapy and combination therapy, including five pivotal studies and one cardiovascular outcomes study.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses more than doubled year over year to $11.2 million primarily driven by costs related to support pre-commercialization activities for both the candidates.

As of Dec 31, 2018, Esperion had cash, cash equivalents and investment securities of $136.3 million compared with $273.6 million as of Dec 31, 2017.

Full-Year Results

Esperion incurred a loss of $7.54 per share, wider than the year-ago loss of $6.98 due to increase in operating expense to support the progress of its pipeline. The company generated no revenues during the period.

2019 Guidance

Esperion provided guidance for collaborations revenues and operating expenses in 2019. The company expects income from collaboration and license agreement to be $150 million. R&D expense is estimated between $115 million and $120 million while G&A expense is expected in the range of $60-$65 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates.


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