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Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN - Analyst Report) is scheduled to release its second quarter 2013 results before the opening bell on Wednesday, Jul 25.

In the last quarter, Alexion delivered a positive earnings surprise of 11.54% driven by strong sales of Soliris (indicated for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome). Soliris, the only marketed product at Alexion, accounted for all of the revenues reported in the first quarter of 2013. This biopharmaceutical company has delivered positive earnings surprises in the last four quarters with an average beat of 23.09%. Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to the announcement of the second quarter results.

Factors at Play for 2Q

We expect Soliris to continue to perform well, thereby driving growth at Alexion in the second quarter of 2013. Focus is also expected to be on the drug’s potential label expansions in indications like Shiga-toxin producing e. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS), neuromyelitis optica and myasthenia gravis. Important pipeline candidates at Alexion include asfotase alfa (hypophosphatasia), ALXN1102/ALXN1103 (hematology), and ALXN1007 (inflammatory disorders).

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Alexion is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive earnings Expected Surprise Prediction (ESP) (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. Unfortunately this is not the case here as elaborated below.

Negative Zacks ESP: This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at 58 cents while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is higher at 60 cents. This results in a difference of -3.33%.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Alexion’s Zacks Rank of 3, however, increases the predictive power of ESP. That said we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident of an earnings surprise call.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other stocks you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this season:

Forest Laboratories Inc. has Earnings ESP of +14.29% and holds a Zacks Rank #3. Forest Labs will be reporting first quarter of fiscal 2014 earnings on Jul 23 before the market opens. Forest Labs’ fiscal year ends on Mar 31.

Biogen Idec. (BIIB - Analyst Report) has Earnings ESP of +2.19% and holds a Zacks Rank #3. Biogen will be reporting second quarter earnings on Jul 25 before the market opens.

Actavis, Inc. (ACT - Analyst Report) has Earnings ESP of +1.01% and holds a Zacks Rank #3. Actavis will be reporting second quarter earnings on Jul 25 before the market opens.

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