U.S. Markets close in 4 hrs 1 min

Agenus (AGEN): What's Ahead for the Stock in Q4 Earnings?

Zacks Equity Research

Agenus Inc. AGEN is expected to report fourth-quarter 2016 results during this month. Last quarter, Agenus delivered a negative earnings surprise of 46.88%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company this quarter.

Agenus’ share price has decreased 6.5% year to date, while the Zacks classified Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry gained 6.1%.

Factors at Play

Agenus is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of checkpoint modulators, vaccines and adjuvants for the treatment of cancer.The company earns revenues only through fees received under collaboration and license agreements

Currently, the company is evaluating AGEN1884 in a phase I study and INCAGN01876 in a phase I/II study for the treatment of solid tumors.
The company has initiated phase I study for OX40 aganist INCAGN1949 in collaboration with Incyte. Agenus has also started phase I study for PD-1 antagonist AGEN2034 and AutoSynVax. Going ahead, the company plans to initiate studies on its second anti-CTLA-4 antibody, AGEN2041, in 2017. Agenus also expects to begin combination studies on AGEN2034 and AGEN1884 in the second half of 2017.

In its fourth-quarter conference call, investor should remain focus on the company’s update on the initiation of combination studies on these antibodies as well as the advancement of additional checkpoint modulator antibodies and vaccines into the clinic in the coming quarters.

We remind investors that Agenus’ lead candidate and several backup antibodies were selected by Merck & Co., Inc. MRK for an undisclosed checkpoint target. Under the terms of the agreement, Agenus is eligible to receive up to $100 million in milestone payments, in addition to royalties on worldwide product sales.

In January this year, Agenus entered into a clinical trial collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to evaluate Prophage (HSPPC-96), in conjunction with Merck’s PD-1 therapy, Keytruda. A phase II study will evaluate the effect of Prophage, in conjunction with Keytruda, on the overall survival rate of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (ndGBM).

Surprise History

Agenus’ track record has been disappointing so far. The company has surpassed estimates in only once in the trailing four quarters and missed the same in all the other occasions, bringing the average negative surprise to 9.02%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Agenus is likely to beat estimates this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. Unfortunately, this is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP for Agenus is 0.00% since the Most Accurate estimate stands in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 33 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Agenus currently carries a Zacks Rank #3, which when combined with a 0.00% ESP, makes surprise prediction difficult.  

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Agenus Inc. Price and EPS Surprise


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

Stocks That Warrants a Look

Here are some health care stocks that you may want to consider, as our model shows that it has the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. PCRX has an Earnings ESP of +20% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to release results on Mar 1.

Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. SNDX has an Earnings ESP of +18.18% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release results on Mar 2.

A Full-Blown Technological Breakthrough in the Making

Zacks’ Aggressive Growth Strategist Brian Bolan explores autonomous cars in our latest Special Report, Driverless Cars: Your Roadmap to Mega-Profits Today. In addition to who will be selling them and how the auto industry will be impacted, Brian reveals 8 stocks with tremendous gain potential to feed off this phenomenon. Click to see the stocks right now >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Merck & Company, Inc. (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report
Agenus Inc. (AGEN): Free Stock Analysis Report
Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PCRX): Free Stock Analysis Report
Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SNDX): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research