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Esperion (ESPR) Q1 Earnings Beat, Stock Up on Strong Revenues

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. ESPR reported earnings of 34 cents per share in the first quarter of 2024, against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 8 cents. The company incurred a loss of 79 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Esperion generated revenues of $137.7 million, up nearly 467% year over year. The upside was driven by the receipt of a milestone payment and increased demand for the company’s drugs across all regions. Per management, this is the highest level of revenues generated by the company in a quarter as of yet. The reported figure beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $53.1 million.

Quarter in Detail

Esperion has two FDA-approved drugs in its commercial portfolio — Nexletol and Nexlizet — that are approved for treating elevated LDL-C (bad cholesterol) and cardiovascular risk reduction. These two oral drugs are marketed as Nilemdo and Nustendi in ex-U.S. markets (excluding Japan, where the company has a collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals) in partnership with Daiichi Sankyo. The company records royalties on sales of its drugs in ex-U.S. markets.

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Product revenues, solely from the United States, totaled $24.8 million in the first quarter, up 46% year over year. The upside was driven by continued prescription growth. During the quarter, the drugs’ retail prescription increased 43% year over year and 6% quarter over quarter.

The reported product revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $24.1 million and our model estimate of $21.2 million.

Esperion recorded collaboration revenues, including combined royalty and partner revenues, of $113.0 million during the reported quarter, up 1,448% year over year. The surge can be attributed to the $100 million litigation-related settlement received from Daiichi Sankyo Europe (DSE) in January. Excluding this milestone payment, collaboration revenues rose 110% year over year.

Collaboration revenues significantly beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate and our model estimate of $29.0 million and $10.2 million, respectively.

The company’s shares moved up 11.8% on Tuesday in response to the better-than-expected collaboration revenue performance. Yet, the stock has lost 20.7% year to date compared with the industry’s 6.8% fall.

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Zacks Investment Research


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Research and development (R&D) expenses declined 57% from the year-ago period’s levels to $13.4 million, primarily related to the close-out of the company’s CLEAR Outcomes study.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were up 40% year over year to $42.0 million. The upside is driven by an increase in the company’s sales force, in addition to bonus payments and promotional costs.

As of Mar 31, 2024, Esperion had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and investment securities of $226.6 million compared with $82.2 million as of Dec 31, 2023. This surge in cash balance is driven by the settlement-related milestone payment received from DSE and the $90.7 million in net proceeds from the public offering received in January.

2024 Guidance

Esperion reiterated its financial outlook for 2024. The company expects operating expenses in the range of $225-$245 million, including $20 million in non-cash expenses related to stock compensation. Guidance for total operating expenses includes $45-$55 million in R&D expenses and $180-$190 million in SG&A expenses.

Recent Updates

In March, the FDA approved broad new label expansions for Nexletol tablets and Nexlizet tablets based on positive CLEAR Outcomes data that include indications for cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction and expanded LDL-C lowering in both primary and secondary prevention patients. Additionally, the enhanced labels support the use of Nexletol and Nexlizet either alone or in combination with statins. Per management, these approvals expand the potential addressable population to more than 70 million patients in the U.S. alone.

Management also announced that the EMA’s Committee for Medical Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended label expansions for Nilemdo and Nustendi for the reduction of LDL-C and CV risk. A final decision is expected by the end of the following month.

In January, Esperion signed an amendment to its existing collaboration with DSE, which is valued at $125 million. One of the terms of this agreement also involves an ‘amicable resolution’ to a commercial dispute between the companies last year over a milestone payment. While $100 million has already been received in January, the remaining $25 million will be received after the EMA approves the label expansion.

Per the terms of the amendment agreement, Esperion initiated the technology transfer process for Nilemdo and Nustendi manufacturing and supply to DSE for its territories, which is expected to be completed by the end of the next year. This is expected to yield significant cost savings and efficiencies for both companies. DSE will also lead all regulatory activities with the EMA regarding the pending applications.

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. Price

 

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. Price
Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. Price

Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. price | Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. Quote

 

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Esperion currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include ANI Pharmaceuticals ANIP, Ligand Pharmaceuticals LGND and United Therapeutics UTHR. While LGND sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present, ANIP and UTHR carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

In the past 60 days, estimates for Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ 2024 earnings per share (EPS) have risen from $4.42 to $4.56. During the same period, EPS estimates for 2025 have improved from $5.11 to $5.27. Year to date, LGND’s shares have risen 2.5%.

Earnings of Ligand Pharmaceuticals beat estimates in each of the last four quarters. Ligand delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 84.81%.

In the past 60 days, estimates for ANI Pharmaceuticals’ 2024 EPS have risen from $4.40 to $4.44. During the same period, EPS estimates for 2025 have improved from $5.01 to $5.04. Year to date, shares of ANIP have rallied 21.0%.

Earnings of ANI Pharmaceuticals beat estimates in each of the last four quarters. ANI delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 109.06%.

In the past 60 days, estimates for United Therapeutics’ 2024 EPS have improved from $23.15 to $24.00. During the same period, EPS estimates for 2025 have risen from $24.12 to $26.39. Year to date, shares of UTHR have inched up 21.1%.

Earnings of United Therapeutics beat estimates in each of the last four quarters. UTHR delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 12.41%.

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Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (ESPR) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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