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Athersys (ATHX) Q4 Earnings: What's in Store for the Stock?

Zacks Equity Research

Athersys, Inc. ATHX is scheduled to report fourth-quarter 2018 and full-year earnings results on Mar 14, 2019, after the market closes.

In the last reported quarter, Athersys delivered a positive surprise of 12.50%.

Shares of the company have gained 3.4% so far this year, underperforming the industry’s increase 14.4%.

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

Factors at Play

Athersys operates as a biotechnology company and focuses on research and development of regenerative medicine. The company does not have any approved product in its portfolio.

Athersys has a license and collaboration agreement with the Japanese company Healios K.K. to develop and commercialize MultiStem cell therapy for ischemic stroke in Japan. Last June, Healios exercised its option to expand the alliance for including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and organ bud. Healios will make further license fee payments in accordance with the collaboration expansion.

Athersys generates revenues from license fees, royalty and related contract revenues from its collaboration with Healios as well as grant revenues.

During the third quarter of 2018, Athersys completed enrollment in the phase I/II study, evaluating intravenousadministration of MultiStem for patients suffering ARDS. In January 2019, the company announced positive results from the study.

The evaluation data confirmed the safety profile of MultiStem. Meanwhile, treatment with MultiStem led to meaningful potential benefits in mortality, ventilator-free days and ICU-free days in the first month following diagnosis compared with patients receiving placebo.

Athersys is also conducting ongoing analyses on ischemic stroke (phase III study called MASTERS 2) and acute myocardial infarction (phase II study). The company is planning to initiate a study for treating severe trauma. Additionally, Athersys is supporting studies in Japan, conducted by its partner Healios, targeting ischemic stroke (TREASURE study).

We expect management to provide an update on these studies during the upcoming earnings call.

Surprise History

Athersys’ performance over the last three reported quarters has been impressive. The company’s earnings surpassed expectations twice, missing the same once, the average negative surprise being 1.67%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Athersys is likely to beat estimates this reporting cycle. 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. But that is not the case here as you will see below.

Earnings ESP: Athersys has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at a loss of 9 cents each. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Athersys currently has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, its 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult for the stock this earnings season.

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

Athersys, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Athersys, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Athersys, Inc. Quote

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some biotech stocks that you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this to-be-reported quarter.

Cara Therapeutics, Inc. CARA is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Mar 12. The company has an Earnings ESP of +11.86% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Tilray Inc. TLRY is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Mar 18. The company has an Earnings ESP of +6.25% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. CATB is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Mar 14. The company has a Zacks Rank of 2 and an Earnings ESP of +7.53%.

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