We expect GW Pharmaceuticals plc GWPH to surpass expectations when it reports second-quarter 2019 results on Aug 6, 2019, after the market closes.
Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals have soared 70.4% so far this year, outperforming the industry’s increase of 16.6%.
The company’s surprise record has been mixed so far, having delivered a positive earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters while missing estimates once, the average four-quarter beat being 22.34%. In the last reported quarter, GW Pharmaceuticals came up with a positive surprise of 32.26%.
Let’s see how things are shaping up for this quarter to be reported.
Factors to Consider
GW Pharmaceuticals derives revenues from the sale of its commercial drug Sativex and anti-epileptic drug Epidiolex.
Sativex is marketed outside the United States for treating spasticity due to multiple sclerosis (MS). The drug has been performing well in the exU.S. markets with sales picking up on a year-over-year basis, a trend we expect to continue in future quarters.
Notably, in December 2018, GW Pharmaceuticals met with the FDA for the regulatory pathway of Sativex in the United States. The company now plans to begin a pivotal phase III study on Sativex for treating spasticity due to MS in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Epidiolex generated sales of $33.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. It became the first cannabis-derived drug to gain an approval from the FDA last June for the treatment Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome in patients aged two years or older. This nod makes it the first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription medicine.
Epidiolex saw a strong uptake in sales and new patient enrollments following its launch last November. We expect this trend to continue in the to-be-reported quarter.
Earlier this month, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) rendered a positive opinion on Epidiolex, recommending its marketing authorization for the given indication. A decision is expected within the next two months.
In May, GW Pharmaceuticals announced positive results from the phase III study evaluating Epidiolex for treating seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). A supplemental new drug application for the same is expected to be filed during the fourth quarter of 2019 with a goal of label expansion set in 2020.
Notably, the company is already working toward Epidiolex’s label expansion for indications beyond epilepsy to autism. An update on the same is awaited at the upcoming earnings call.
Why a Likely Positive Surprise?
Our proven model indicates that GW Pharmaceuticals is likely to beat on earnings this to-be-reported 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.
Earnings ESP: GW Pharmaceuticals has an Earnings ESP of +1300.00%, representing the percentage difference between the Most Accurate Estimate ($1.50) and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 13 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Zacks Rank: GW Pharmaceuticals has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. Thus, the combination of a positive ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank makes us reasonably confident about a likely positive earnings surprise.
Conversely, the Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) should never be considered going into ---the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC Price and EPS Surprise
GW Pharmaceuticals PLC price-eps-surprise | GW Pharmaceuticals PLC Quote
Stocks That Warrant a Look
Here are some biotech stocks worth considering as our model shows that these have the right mix of elements to beat on earnings this reporting cycle.
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company LJPC has a Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of +4.93%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Nektar Therapeutics NKTR has an Earnings ESP of +1.43% and a Zacks Rank of 2.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. REGN has a Zacks Rank of 3 and an Earnings ESP of +6.25%. The company is scheduled to release second-quarter results on Aug 6, before the market opens.
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