Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. ACOR announced fourth-quarter 2018 earnings per share of 45 cents, significantly beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 60 cents. However, the figure declined from the year-ago earnings of 61 cents.
Acorda generated total revenues of $69.1 million in the fourth quarter, comprehensively outshining the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $41 million. However, sales tumbled a massive 63.3% year over year.
Shares of Acorda have plunged 38% in the past year, wider than the industry’s decline 18.4%.
Quarter in Detail
Majority of Acorda’s net product revenues were drawn from the company’s key multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Ampyra, which raked in sales of $64.2 million in the reported quarter. Sales of Ampyra plunged 61.6% year over year and 53.4% sequentially due to completion of generic launches including Mylan's MYL authorized generic version.
Also, on fourth-quarter conference call, the company stated that Ampyra sales will see a steady decline in the quarters ahead in 2019.
In March 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware invalidated four patents pertaining to Ampyra on the basis of obviousness. Originally, these patents were set to expire between 2025 and 2027. Last July, the Federal Circuit denied Acorda’s plea for a preliminary injunction to avoid at-risk launches preceding the Appeals Court decision.
Last September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the District Court's previous ruling by a 2-to-1 vote to invalidate four patents of Ampyra. This paved the way for the entry of a generic product.
Acorda filed an en banc petition, requesting a review by the entire court regarding the unfavorable ruling for Ampyra. The idea of the application is to request for a session, which will be heard by all the judges of the court. In January 2019, the Federal Circuit denied Acorda’s petition for an en banc hearing of the Ampyra patent appeal case.
Notably, in the quarter under consideration, royalty revenues plummeted 82.6% to $2.8 million from the year-ago figure of $16.1 million.
Acorda’s research and development (R&D) expenses (excluding share-based compensation expenses) were $25.9 million, reflecting a decrease of 21.2% year over year.
Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses (excluding share-based compensation expenses) were $33 million, representing a 3.2% year-over-year dip.
Acorda had $445 million as cash, cash equivalents and investments as of December 2018.
Acorda’s biggest achievement in 2018 was the FDA approval of its Parkinson's disease (PD) drug, Inbrija (levodopa inhalation powder), in late last December. Following this nod, the product became the first and the only legitimate inhaled levodopa for treating OFF periods in patients suffering Parkinson’s and receiving a carbidopa / levodopa regimen. Inbrija is expected to be launched during the first quarter of 2019 in the United States. The drug is also under review in the EU with a decision pending by this year-end.
The company will no longer provide any outlook for Ampyra due to declining revenues, resulting from the entrance of generics.
The company expects full-year R&D and SG&A expenses (excluding share-based compensation) for 2019 in the band of $70-$80 million and $200-$210 million, respectively
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Quote
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
Acorda currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SNSS) and BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BDSI), both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Sunesis’ loss per share estimates have been narrowed 14.7% for 2019 over the past 60 days.
BioDelivery Sciences’ loss per share estimates has been narrowed 12% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has skyrocketed 113.8% in the past year.
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