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Why Is Catalyst (CPRX) Up 4.4% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Catalyst Pharmaceutical (CPRX). Shares have added about 4.4% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Catalyst due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Catalyst's Q3 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Miss

Catalyst reported earnings of 11 cents per share in the third quarter of 2020 after excluding benefits from deferred tax assets, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9 cents. Meanwhile, the company reported a profit of 13 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company’s revenues of $29.2 million missed the Zacks ConsensusEstimate of $31 million. Revenues in the year-ago quarter came in at $30.9 million. Revenues came entirely from sales of Firdapse, the company’s first approved drug for the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS).

Quarter in Detail

Research and development (R&D) expenses of $3.7 million declined from $4.6 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The downside was attributable to decreases in medical and regulatory affairs and quality assurance expenses and expenses from the ongoing clinical studies evaluating Firdapse for the treatment of MuSK-MG, and the proof-of-concept study evaluating Firdapse for the treatment of SMA Type 3.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses totaled $10 million, up from $8.1 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The increase was led by additional costs from the expansion of the sales force and contraction with a rare-disease, experienced inside sales agency, and an increase in employee cash stock-based compensation.

The company ended the quarter with $117.1 million in cash and investments, up from $89.5 million as of Dec 31, 2019.

Update on Firdapse

Apart from LEMS, Catalyst is working on developing Firdapse for other indications. In August 2020, the company reported top-line results from the phase III study on Firdapse in anti-MuSK antibody positive myasthenia gravis patients. In the study, the primary and secondary endpoints did not achieve statistical significance. The company plans to complete the full analysis of data and findings and meet its neuromuscular advisors to decide the path forward for the MuSK-MG indication.

Firdapse is also being evaluated in a proof-of-concept study for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 3 patients. Top-line results from this study are expected before the end of 2020.

A potential approval of the drug for any of the given indications will further drive revenues for the company.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review flatlined during the past month.

VGM Scores

Currently, Catalyst has a nice Growth Score of B, though it is lagging a bit on the Momentum Score front with a C. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Catalyst has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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