Cubist Pharma climbs following 2Q report

Cubist reaches highest price since 2000 following 2nd-qtr report and start of new drug study

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped to long-time highs Friday after the drugmaker reported solid second-quarter results.

THE SPARK: Cubist issued its report after the market closed Thursday. The company said its adjusted net income totaled 42 cents per share, and its total revenue rose 12 percent to $258.8 million.

Analysts expected income of 40 cents per share and $254.7 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Cubist said U.S. sales of its antibiotic Cubicin grew 13 percent to $227.1 million, and sales of its constipation drug Entereg rose to $12.4 million from $9.7 million a year ago.

THE BIG PICTURE: Cubist gets most of its revenue from Cubicin, a treatment for skin infections like the MRSA "superbug" and blood infections. The growth in Cubicin revenue marked a reversal from the first quarter, when sales fell 9 percent compared to the previous year.

The Lexington, Mass., company also said it is now enrolling patients in late-stage trials of its drug bevenopran as a treatment for constipation caused by opioid pain drugs in patients who don't have cancer. It plans to run three separate studies comparing the drug to a placebo, and the trials will include a total of 1,800 patients. Cubist is also running a safety study of the drug regimen.

Cubist is also studying a combination of two experimental drugs, ceftolozane and tazobactam, as a treatment for a variety of different types of serious infections including complicated intra-abdominal infections and complicated urinary tract infections.

THE ANALYSIS: Cowen and Co. analyst Ken Cacciatore said the company posted a "nice recovery" in Cubicin sales. Cacciatore rates Cubist shares at "Outperform" and said he believes Cubist will be acquired by a larger drug company before ceftolozane and tazobactam are approved.

SHARE ACTION: Cubist shares gained $4.85, or 9 percent, to $56.43. The stock is up 34 percent in 2013, and earlier in the day it peaked at $57.83, its highest price since September 2000.

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