Celgene Corporation (CELG) reported third quarter 2013 earnings (excluding special items but including stock-based compensation expense) of $1.34 per share, beating the year-ago earnings by 17.5%. Higher revenues drove earnings in the reported quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was $1.38 per share.
Quarter in Details
Total revenues climbed 17.7% to $1.67 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Revenues were boosted by the impressive performance of cancer drugs Revlimid and Abraxane. Net product sales climbed 18% to $1.64 billion. Revenues surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.64 billion.
Net sales of Revlimid, the key growth driver at Celgene, came in at $1.09 billion, reflecting an increase of 12% over the year-ago period. The drug did well both in the U.S. (up 16%) and international markets (up 8%). Market share gains and increased duration of therapy drove sales in the third quarter of 2013.
Net sales of another cancer drug, Abraxane, climbed 60% to $170 million. The drug did well both in the U.S. (up 64%) and international markets (up 47%). Sales in the U.S. were boosted by the label expansion of the drug into the non-small cell lung cancer indication in the final quarter of 2012.
In Sep 2013, the drug was approved in the U.S. as a first-line therapy in patients suffering from metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in combination with Eli Lilly and Company’s (LLY) Gemzar. Approval for the pancreatic cancer indication also boosted the drug’s sales in the quarter.
Net sales of Vidaza came in flat year over year at $220 million. Soft U.S. sales (down 6%) due to generic competition hurt results during the quarter. We note that Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. (RDY) gained U.S. approval to market its generic version of the drug last month. Sales of Vidaza climbed 4% to $143 million in the third quarter of 2013.
U.S. sales of Pomalyst, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) in Feb 2013 in combination with low-dose dexamethasone for the treatment of relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients, who have received at least two prior therapies, came in at $77 million in the third quarter of 2013, up 33% sequentially.
The approval of the drug (trade name: Imnovid) in the EU in Aug 2013 has further boosted its sales potential. Sales of the drug in international markets were $13 million in the third quarter of 2013.
Net sales of another cancer drug, Thalomid, continued to decline due to the availability of better alternatives. Thalomid sales were $60 million, down 20%.
Research and development (R&D) expenses (excluding stock-based compensation and other special items) climbed 13.4% to $372 million. The increase was due to Celgene’s efforts to develop its pipeline. Selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding stock-based compensation and other special items) in the quarter increased 25.4% to $405 million. Costs associated with the launches of Abraxane in the pancreatic cancer indication and Imnovid primarily led to the rise in SG&A expenses.
Outlook for 2013 Raised
Apart from announcing financial results, Celgene upped its guidance for 2013. Celgene now expects adjusted earnings for 2013 in the range of $5.90–$5.95 per share (old guidance: $5.80–$5.90 per share).
Celgene now expects 2013 net product sales in excess of $6.2 billion. The company had previously forecasted 2013 net sales to be $6.2 billion Revlimid will continue performing well with sales now projected in the mid-to-upper end of the previously guided range of $4.2-$4.3 billion. The pre-earnings Zacks Consensus Estimate hinted at 2013 earnings of $5.39 per share on revenues of $6.37 billion.
Celgene, a biopharmaceutical company, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) appears to be more attractive in the biopharma space with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).