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Agenus (AGEN) Q4 Loss Wider Than Expected, Revenues Miss

Zacks Equity Research
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Agenus Inc. AGEN has incurred fourth-quarter 2017 loss of 35 cents per share, wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 28 cents and the year-ago loss of 30 cents.

Revenues of $8.4 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16 million. However, the top line was up from $5.6 million in the prior-year period.

So far this year, shares of Agenus have surged 32.9% against the industry’s decline of 4.5%.

Quarterly Highlights

Agenus’ fourth-quarter research and development (R&D) expenses were up 22.7% to $31.9 million. General and administrative expenses were slightly up by 12.9% to $9.8 million.

Pipeline Update

Agenus is progressing well with various candidates in its pipeline. During the quarter under review, the company commenced its phase II combination trials on its CTLA-4 antibody, AGEN1884 in combination with Merck's MRK PD-1 antibody, Keytruda among patients with first-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 

Agenus has already completed the dose escalation clinical trials of its CTLA-4 and PD-1 compounds. It also launched a phase II combination study of the PD-1 proprietary agents in second line cervical cancer. This combo regimen assessment may also support a BLA filing as soon as 2020.

The company made a significant advancement with five novel immuno-oncology antibodies, discovered and developed in 2017. It expects to file investigational new drug (IND) applications for at least three of these antibodies by 2018. In fact, the first IND filing will be for its next-generation CTLA-4, designed to deplete cancer-prone Tregs and improve T-cell priming. 

The company also reported safety and immunogenicity of its first synthetic neoantigen vaccine, AutoSynVax (ASV). Combination studies of ASV with the company’s own checkpoint antibodies are planned for 2018.

2017 Results

The company reported a loss of $1.23 in 2017, narrower than $1.46 of loss in 2016. The figure was however, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.16.

Revenues in 2017 came in at $42.9 million, up 89.9% year over year. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $50.1 million.


Agenus Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Agenus Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Agenus Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Agenus has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Two better-ranked stocks from the same space are Regeneron REGN and Ligand Pharmaceuticals LGND. While Regeneron sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Ligand carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Regeneron’s earnings per share estimates have moved up from $18.65 to $18.68 for 2018 in the last 30 days. The company pulled off a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters, the average beat being 9.15%.

Ligand’s earnings per share estimates rose from $3.78 to $4.20 and from $4.75 to $5.32 for 2018 and 2019, respectively, over the last 30 days. The company delivered positive surprises in three of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 24.88%. Share price of the company has soared 63.9% in a year’s time.

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