SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 's SCLN fourth-quarter adjusted earnings (including stock-based compensation expenses) of 28 cents per share were above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 15 cents and the year-ago earnings of 6 cents per share. We expect shares to rise on the back of strong fourth-quarter results.
SciClone's total revenues of $41.4 million increased 26.6% in the fourth quarter. Results were backed by higher product revenues. Revenues were also above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $40 million.
In 2014, SciClone's adjusted earnings (including stock-based compensation expenses) of 69 cents per share were above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 56 cents and year-ago earnings of 35 cents per share. Revenues in 2014 increased 6.1% to $134.8 million. Revenues were also above the Zacks Consensus Estimate $134 million.
Quarter in Details
The company's lead product, Zadaxin, approved for the treatment of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV), contributed $39 million in the reported quarter, up 27.9% year over year. The drug is also approved for certain forms of cancer.
Apart from product revenues, the company recorded promotion services revenues, which declined 15% to $0.7 million in the reported quarter. Fourth-quarter promotion services revenues were affected by the conclusion of the company's promotion agreements with Sanofi SNY last year.
SciClone's research and development expenses during the quarter increased to $11.6 million from $1.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase was attributable to upfront costs of $11.0 million under the company's in-license arrangements. The company's general and administrative (G&A) expenses declined 31.4% to $5.3 million due to lower legal costs.
SciClone expects 2015 adjusted earnings (excluding stock-based compensation expenses) in the range of 73 cents to 77 cents per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2015 earnings is at 43 cents.
Revenues are expected in the range of $153 million to $158 million. Revenues, as per the Zacks Consensus Estimate, of $162 million are however above the company's guidance.
We are encouraged by the company's top- and bottom-line beat in the fourth quarter. Zadaxin also performed well during the quarter. We believe that the company's 2015 guidance is achievable.
SciClone carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). ). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Cytokinetics, Incorporated CYTK and Affymetrix Inc. AFFX - both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).