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QLT Narrows Loss in Q4

Zacks Equity Research

QLT Inc.’s (QLTI) fourth quarter 2013 loss of 11 cents per share was narrower than the year-ago loss of 16 cents per share and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 12 cents. The narrower loss was due to the lower costs incurred by QLT in the final quarter of 2013.

QLT did not report any revenues during the fourth quarter of 2013. We note that QLT’s product portfolio previously included eye-drug Visudyne. In Sep 2012, QLT sold its Visudyne business to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX).

Previously, QLT had an agreement with Novartis (NVS) for the commercialization of Visudyne in ex-U.S. territories. Visudyne is used for treating abnormal growth of leaky blood vessels in the eye caused by wet age-related macular degeneration.

Research and development expenses at QLT came in at $4.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with $5 million in the year-ago quarter. The reduction was due to the cost savings from the restructuring schemes and the completion of some early-stage pipeline programs. Selling, general and administrative expense declined to $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $2.3 million a year ago. The decrease was primarily due to cost savings from the restructurings announced by QLT in 2012.

Last year, QLT completed the sale of its punctal plug drug delivery system technology to Mati Therapeutics Inc. Mati was founded by Robert Butchofsky, an ex-president and chief executive officer of QLT .

QLT, which focuses on developing and commercializing innovative ocular products for those with high unmet medical needs, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). An example of a better-ranked stock is Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AUXL) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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