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Alexion (ALXN) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALXN is scheduled to release first-quarter 2021 results on May 3, before the market opens.

The company’s earnings surprise record has been excellent so far, with its earnings beating estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 21.18%. In the last-reported quarter, Alexion reported an earnings surprise of 18.40%.

Shares of the company have rallied 6.9% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 1.4%.

price chart for ALXN
price chart for ALXN


Let’s see how things are shaping up for the quarter to be reported.

Factors at Play

Alexion’s portfolio consists of its key growth driver Soliris, which is approved for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (“PNH”) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Soliris is also approved for the treatment of generalized myasthenia gravis in adults who are anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive. It is also approved to treat neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

In the last-reported quarter, Soliris’ revenues were up year over year – a trend most likely to have continued in the to-be reported quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $983 million.

Meanwhile, Alexion’s long-acting C5 complement inhibitor, Ultomiris, is approved for the treatment of adult patients with PNH and aHUS. Sale of the drug increased both year over year and sequentially in the last-reported quarter – a trend most likely to have continued in the to-be reported quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $346 million.

Under the metabolic franchise, Alexion markets Strensiq for the treatment of patients with pediatric-onset hypophosphatasia and Kanuma for addressing lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. These drugs are also likely to have contributed to the top line in the first quarter.

Key Developments

In December 2020, Alexion entered into a definitive agreement with U.K.-based pharma giant AstraZeneca Plc. AZN, whereby the latter will acquire the former for $39 billion. While Alexion has solid prospects on a standalone basis, the combination will give it a chance to globalize its portfolio further.

Earlier this month, AstraZeneca obtained the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's permission for the acquisition of Alexion. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. Upon successful completion of the same, a dedicated business unit will be formed, which will be known as Alexion, The AstraZeneca Rare Disease Unit.

We expect management to provide more updates on the impending acquisition at the upcoming investors’ call.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Alexion is likely to beat on earnings this quarter. This 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. That is not the case here, as you will see below.

Earnings ESP: Alexion has an Earnings ESP of +7.41% as the Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $3.08 per share while the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $3.31. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Alexion currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price and Consensus

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price and Consensus
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price and Consensus


Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Stocks to Consider

Here are some large drug/biotech stocks that have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this time around:

Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. AXSM with an Earnings ESP of +23.83% and a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Gilead Sciences GILD has an Earnings ESP of +6.00% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to report earnings on Apr 29.

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (AXSM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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