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Why Is Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR) Up 17.5% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR). Shares have added about 17.5% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Esperion Therapeutics 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.

Esperion Q3 Earnings Top, Coronavirus Woes Linger

Esperion incurred loss per share of $3.07 per share in the third quarter of 2020, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.52 per share. The company had incurred loss of $2.52 per share in the year-ago period.

The company generated revenues of $3.8 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.67 million. The company had recorded revenues of $1.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales grew year over year on the back of strong uptake of its drugs in the United States.

Quarter in Details

Product revenues were $3.3 million in the third quarter compared with $0.6 million in the previous quarter. Though the drugs were launched virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sequential script growth for both drugs exceeded 500% during the third quarter as the company achieved high-quality and broad managed care coverage in the United States. However, product sales growth was partially hurt due to significantly fewer patient visits to primary care physicians amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company recorded Collaboration revenues of $0.5 million in the third quarter compared with approximately $1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Research and development (R&D) expenses decreased 26.9% from the year-ago period to $35.3 million. The decline was mainly due to lower costs, following the completion of enrollment in the ongoing cardiovascular outcomes study (CVOT) study on Nexletol.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) were up 164.4% year over year to $48.8 million. The significant increase was primarily due to costs to support commercialization activities for Nexletol and Nexlizet.

As of Sep 30, 2020, Esperion had cash, cash equivalents and investment securities of $215.7 million compared with $300.7 million as of Jun 30, 2020.

2020 Guidance Maintained

Esperion maintained its previously issued guidance for R&D and SG&A costs. The company anticipates R&D expense for 2020 to be in the range of $135-$145 million. SG&A expense guidance was also maintained in the range of $200-$210 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 8.51% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Esperion Therapeutics has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with a B. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

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


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Esperion Therapeutics has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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