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Sanofi (SNY) Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Vaccine Sales Weak

Sanofi SNY reported fourth-quarter 2022 adjusted earnings of 87 cents per American depositary share, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as our estimate of 90 cents per share. Earnings rose 23.9% on a reported basis and 17.4% on a constant currency rate (“CER”) basis.

Net sales rose 7.3% on a reported basis and 2.6% on a CER basis to $10.95 billion (€10.73 billion). Exchange rate movements boosted sales by 4.7 percentage points in the quarter. Sales missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11.51 billion as well as our estimate of $11.31 billion.

Sales rose 8.7% at CER in the United States and 2.4% in the Rest of the World (including China, Japan, Brazil and Russia). In Europe, sales declined 5.6%.

All growth rates mentioned below are on a year-on-year basis and at CER.

Segment Performance

Pharmaceuticals sales rose 7.3% in the quarter to €7.79 billion, driven by the continued strong performance of the Specialty Care segment.


Sanofi Specialty Care GBU sales increased 18.1% to €4.4 billion, mainly driven by Dupixent and new product launches.

Dupixent generated sales of €2.40 billion in the quarter, up 42.1% year over year. Dupixent sales were better than our estimates of €2.35 billion.

Sales of the drug in the United States rose 43.8%, driven by strong demand for its approved indications, atopic dermatitis, asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis indications and strong launches for new indications, eosinophilic esophagitis and prurigo nodularis. In the United States, Dupixent’s new prescription share and total prescription share rose 48% and 34%, respectively.

Dupixent sales rose 33.2% in Europe and 40.1% in the Rest of the World as the company expanded in newer markets and younger age groups.

In the immunology and neurology franchise, Aubagio sales declined 4.6% to €493 million due to generic competition in Canada. Kevzara recorded sales of €79 million in the quarter, down 17.6% due to a difficult comparison with the year-ago quarter, which had benefited from a temporary increase in demand for IL-6 receptor blockers.

Sanofi markets Dupixent and Kevzara in partnership with Regeneron REGN. While sales are recorded by Sanofi, Regeneron records its share of profits/losses in connection with global sales of Dupixent and Kevzara.

Sales of rare disease drugs rose 1.8% to €850 million. In the Pompe franchise, Myozyme sales declined 17.7% to €216 million due to patients switching to Nexviazyme. The new drug Nexviazyme recorded sales of €65 million in the fourth quarter compared with €58 million in the previous quarter. Fabrazyme sales were €240 million, up 3.6%. In the Gaucher franchise, Cerezyme sales declined 8.3% to €159 million due to unfavorable shipping patterns in the Rest of the World region. Newly launched rare disease drug Xenpozyme recorded sales of €17 million in the quarter.

Oncology sales declined 11.7% to €221 million due to a lack of consolidation of Libtayo sales. In 2022, Sanofi restructured its immuno-oncology collaboration with Regeneron regarding Libtayo by granting Regeneron the worldwide exclusive license rights of the drug. Prior to that, the companies co-commercialized the drug in the United States and shared worldwide operating profits. Sanofi was solely responsible for commercialization in the rest of the world. Excluding Libtayo, Oncology sales were up 3.4%.

Sarclisa sales rose 55.6% to €86 million. Jevtana’s sales declined 24.5% to €87 million due to the entry of generic competition in some countries in Europe.

The rare blood disorders franchise recorded sales of €352 million, up 11.3% year over year, as higher sales of Alprolix and Cablivi were offset by lower Eloctate sales. Alprolix sales rose 14.2% year over year to €141 million. While Cablivi sales were up 52.6% to €62 million, Eloctate sales declined 9.2% to €138 million in the quarter.

Sales in General Medicines GBU declined 3.7% to €3.38 billion, as the growth of core drugs (like Multaq, Toujeo, Praluent and Rezurock) was more than offset by lower sales of non-core drugs (like Lantus and Aprovel).

Lantus sales decreased 27.6% to €429 million in the quarter. Toujeo generated sales of €272 million in the reported quarter, up 13.9% year over year. Lovenox sales declined 13.1% to €289 million due to decreasing demand from COVID-19. Aprovel sales declined 9.8% to €104.0 million. Praluent sales rose 70.9% to €96 million.

Vaccines GBU sales declined 16.3% to €1.72 billion in the quarter, mainly reflecting accelerated supply phasing of influenza vaccines. Total vaccine sales missed our estimates of €1.77 billion.

While sales of flu vaccines declined 32%, sales of PPH vaccines declined 16.9% in the quarter. Meningitis vaccine sales rose 14.3%. Sales of travel and other endemic vaccines rose 28.6% in the quarter. Booster vaccine sales rose 12.1% in the quarter.

Consumer Healthcare (CHC) stand-alone unit generated sales of €1.22 billion, up 6.6%, driven by growth in all regions. The CHC segment witnessed double-digit growth in Digestive Wellness, Allergy and Cough & Cold categories.

Costs Rise

Business selling, general and administrative expenses were flat at CER in the quarter, as increased investments in Specialty Care were offset by cost efficiency. Business research and development expenses increased 10.1% at CER due to higher investments behind priority assets to boost the pipeline.

2023 Guidance

Sanofi expects adjusted earnings to grow at a low single-digit range at CER in 2023. It anticipates a negative currency impact in the range of 3.5%-4.5% on earnings.

Our Take

Sanofi’s quarterly results were weak as it missed estimates for both earnings and sales. Higher sales of Dupixent and other specialty medicines were offset by a decline in vaccine sales. Shares were down 2.3% in pre-market trading in response to the poor results.

Sanofi’s stock has declined 9.3% in the past year against the industry’s rise of 8.0%.


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Zacks Investment Research

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Nonetheless, Dupixent continued its outstanding performance in the quarter. The drug, has, in a very short time, become the key top-line driver for Sanofi. With outside U.S. revenues accelerating and multiple approvals for new indications, Dupixent’s sales are expected to be higher. The French drug giant’s earnings growth expectations for 2023 are decently encouraging.

Several of Sanofi’s products, the RSV vaccine, Beyfortus (nirsevimab), the COVID-19 vaccine called VidPrevtyn Beta, Enjaymo (sutimlimab) for hemolytic anemia in patients with cold agglutinin disease and Dupixent for prurigo nodularis were approved in Europe in the fourth quarter. Dupixent was approved for its fifth indication, eosinophilic esophagitis, last month. Sanofi expects approvals for Altuviiio (hemophilia A) and Beyfortus vaccine in the United States this year. All these new drug approvals should boost the company’s long-term revenue growth.

Zacks Rank

Sanofi currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other large drug stocks worth considering include Roche RHHBY and Novo Nordisk NVO, both witha Zacks Rank of 2.

Estimates for Roche’s 2024 earnings per share have increased from $2.79 per share to $2.85. Shares of Roche have lost 19.3% in the year-to-date period.

Roche’s performance in 2022 was pretty average, as the demand for COVID-19 products declined significantly even though the diagnostics base business and newer drugs maintained their growth.

In the past 30 days, estimates for Novo Nordisk’s earnings per share have increased from $4.03 per share to $4.20 per share. Shares of Novo Nordisk have risen 32.8% in the past year.

Novo Nordisk earnings missed estimates in one of the last four quarters and beat the mark in the other three, delivering an earnings surprise of 3.00%, on average.

NVO reported its fourth-quarter results on Feb 1. Novo Nordisk beat estimates for earnings but missed the same for revenues. The Diabetes and Obesity Care segment’s sales rose 20% at CER, while sales in the Rare disease segment were down 2% at CER. In 2023, the company said it expects sales and operating profit to grow in the range of 13-19% at CER.

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