VIVUS Q1 Loss Narrower-than-Expected, Revenues Beat - Analyst Blog

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VIVUS Inc.'sVVUS first-quarter 2015 loss of 15 cents per share was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 24 cents but wider than the year-ago loss of 13 cents.

The company's total revenues for the first quarter of 2015 were $32.2 million, down 12.3% from the year-ago period but well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $19 million.

Quarter in Details

First quarter revenues included $11.6 million of license and milestone revenue related to erectile dysfunction drug, Stendra (EU trade name: Spedra) and $8.5 million of supply revenue.

The company's weight management drug Qsymia generated net product sales of $12.6 million, flat sequentially. Qsymia prescriptions (approximately 136,000) remained flat on a sequential basis. In the reported quarter, 63% of total prescriptions were a free good or on a discount offer.

Apart from Qsymia, the company's portfolio consists of Stendra. VIVUS has partnerships in place for the drug with companies like Sanofi SNY and is currently in partnership discussions for Latin America and certain Asian countries. The company is also planning to study the drug in a phase II proof-of-concept trial for pulmonary arterial hypertension, both alone and in combination with another agent.

In the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $2.7 million, down 39.1% year over year. Selling, general and administrative expenses were down 7.7% to $26.4 million.

Our Take

VIVUS' first quarter results were better-than-expected with the company reporting a narrower-than-expected loss as well as higher-than-expected revenues. However, Qsymia sales as well scrips remained flat on a sequential basis. Qsymia is also facing a patent challenge.

Moreover, the competitive nature of the obesity market, given the presence of Belviq and others, keeps us concerned.

VIVUS is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. VRX and Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. OSIR . Both are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks.

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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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