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Aerie (AERI) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y

Aerie Pharmaceuticals AERI reported adjusted earnings of $1.09 for fourth-quarter 2021 against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 68 cents per share. The company posted a loss of 79 cents per share in the year-ago period.

Revenues came in at $114.7 million, which increased from $24.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The reported revenues also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $30.8 million.

The substantial surge in revenues was on account of licensing revenues of $82 million in relation to the expansion of its collaboration with Santen in December 2021 to expand its glaucoma products in Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, China, India, parts of Latin America and the Oceania countries.

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals were up 10% in after-market trading on Feb 24, following the above announcement. Yet, the stock has plunged 62.7% in the trailing 12 months in comparison with the industry’s 31.2% decline.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Quarter in Detail

In addition to licensing revenues, the company also earned product revenues of $32.7 million from sales of its two glaucoma products, namely Rhopressa and Rocklatan. The figure was up 32% year over year.

We remind investors that the company’s first drug, Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution), has been approved for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (“IOP”) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Aerie’s second drug, Rocklatan, a once-daily, quadruple-action, fixed-dose combination of Rhopressa and Xalatan, has been approved to reduce elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Total operating expenses for the reported quarter were $62.9 million compared with $60.3 million in the year-ago period.

Full-Year Results

For 2021, Aerie generated total revenues of $194.1 million, reflecting a 133.5% increase year over year.

For the same period, the company reported adjusted earnings of 97 cents per share against the year-ago adjusted loss of $3.12.

2022 Guidance

AERI expects net product revenues in the range of $130-$140 million, indicating a rise of 16-25% from 2021.

Recent Updates

In September 2021, Aerie announced data from the phase IIb COMET-1 study, which evaluated investigational therapy AR-15512 in patients with dry eye disease. While the study achieved statistical significance over multiple pre-specified symptom and sign endpoints, it did not achieve all pre-determined primary endpoints with statistical significance. To complete the development of AR-15512, the company plans to initiate two phase III efficacy studies and a safety study in second-quarter 2022. AERI will hold an end-of-phase II meeting with the FDA in first-quarter 2022 before commencing these studies.

Investigational New Drug Application (IND)-enabling preclinical studies are underway for AR-14034 SR, a sustained-release implant containing the pan-VEGF inhibitor, axitinib, formulated in a unique bio-erodible polymer blend. Aerie also expects to file an IND application for AR-6121, a ROCK inhibitor-linked steroid, in the second half of 2022.

Following discussions with both the FDA and the EMA to finalize a phase III strategy for its sustained-release retinal implant, AR-1105, Aerie expects to begin phase III activities in first-half 2022.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price
Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. price | Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Aerie currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include Arvinas ARVN, Arbutus Biopharma ABUS and Vertex Pharmaceuticals VRTX, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Arvinas’ loss per share estimates for 2022 have narrowed from $3.23 to $3.19 in the past 30 days. Earnings of Arvinas missed estimates in each of the last four quarters, with the average negative surprise being 47.8%.

Arbutus Biopharma’s loss per share estimates for 2022 have narrowed from 63 cents to 61 cents in the past 30 days. Earnings of Arbutus Biopharma beat estimates in one of the last four quarters, met the mark on one occasion and missed the same on the other two occasions, delivering an average negative surprise of 3.6%.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ earnings per share estimates for 2022 have increased from $13.35 to $14.33 in the past 30 days. The same for 2023 has risen from $14.12 to $15.31 in the past 30 days. Shares of VRTX have risen 8.1% in the past year.

Earnings of Vertex Pharmaceuticals beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, with the average being 10%.

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