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QLT's Loss Narrows in 4Q

Zacks Equity Research

QLT Inc.’s (QLTI) fourth-quarter 2012 adjusted net loss of 15 cents per share was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 30 cents and the year-ago loss of approximately 19 cents per share. Lower operating expenses incurred by QLT in the final quarter of 2012 contributed to the narrower loss.

The company suffered a loss of 73 cents per share in 2012 compared with a loss of approximately 70 cents incurred in 2011. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 hinted at a loss of 98 cents per share.

QLT reported no revenues during the final quarter of 2012. We note that QLT’s product portfolio previously included eye-drug Visudyne, which it co-developed with Novartis (NVS). In Sep 2012, QLT sold its Visudyne business to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX).

Research and development (R&D) expenses at QLT came in at $5 million in the final quarter of 2012 compared with $6.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense plummeted 47% to $2.4 million in the final quarter of 2012. The decrease was primarily attributable to cost savings from the restructurings announced by QLT in 2012.

The company restructured its operations to focus on the development of its synthetic retinoid, QLT091001, for treating certain inherited retinal diseases. QLT intends to meet the officials of the US Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) shortly to discuss future development plans regarding QLT091001.

QLT currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another company, Lannett, Inc. (LCI) is well placed in the pharma space, and carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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