Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) reported first quarter 2013 earnings of $1.35 per American Depository Receipt (:ADR), up 56.1% from the prior-year earnings of 87 cents per ADR. Earnings were well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.05.
First quarter revenues rose 3.2% year over year to $465.5 million, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $445 million.
Quarter in Details
We note that all growth rates below are in local currency.
Tracleer revenues were up 4% to CHF 375 million mainly driven by higher wholesaler orders and positive pricing in the US. Ventavis sales were down 1% from the prior year while Zavesca sales were up 23%.
In 2012, regulatory approvals of Veletri were received in the US, Switzerland and Canada for an improved formulation. Veletri sales were up 24%.
Research & development expenses (R&D) (excluding stock based compensation expenses) declined 24%. R & D expenses will rise in the later half of this year because of the initiation of two phase III studies. Selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding stock based compensation expenses) were down 4%.
Apart from releasing its financial results, Actelion provided an update on its pipeline. Phase III preparation is ongoing for pipeline candidates, cadazolid for the treatment of clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (:CDAD) and ponesimod for psoriasis.
Veletri received regulatory approval in Japan in the reported quarter, under the trade name Epoprostenol "ACT". Meanwhile, first national approval in the EU is expected shortly with the decentralized procedure having been completed.
Enrollment for a phase III study with selexipag in pulmonary arterial hypertension (:PAH) is about to complete. Interim analysis will begin soon.
Opsumit, for the treatment of PAH, was filed for review with the US Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) and European Medicines Agency (:EMA) in the fourth quarter of 2012. These regulatory procedures are in progress.
We are pleased with the pipeline progress at Actelion. Actelion carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently companies like Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX), Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI) and Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TSPT) look more attractive with a ZacksRank #1 (Strong Buy).
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