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Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PCRX - Snapshot Report) reported fourth quarter 2013 net loss per share of 36 cents, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 31 cents but narrower than the year-ago loss of 50 cents.

Fourth quarter revenues rose 221.1% year over year to $33.6 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $31 million.

Quarter in Detail

Net revenues included product revenues, collaborative licensing and development revenue and royalty revenues. Net Exparel revenues were $30.5 million, up 52.5% sequentially. The increase was primarily due to higher demand for Exparel.

Exparel, indicated for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia, was launched in the U.S. in Apr 2012. At the end of the reported quarter, 2,106 customers ordered Exparel since its launch, with roughly 250 customers each ordering more than $100,000. Pacira reported an average of 29 new customers per week in the reported quarter.

Pacira is making efforts to expand Exparel’s label. Pacira expects to submit a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for femoral nerve-block in total knee arthroplasty in the second quarter of 2014.

Pacira submitted a Prior Approval Supplement (PAS) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an additional manufacturing site for Exparel in Dec 2013. The Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) action date is on Apr 5, 2014.

Research and development expenses soared 49.1% year over year to $4.8 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 50.9% year over year to $20.2 million.

2013 Details

Pacira reported 2013 loss of $1.93 per share, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.79 and the 2012 loss of $1.72 per share.

Full year revenues were $85.6 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $82 million. Revenues in 2012 were $39.1 million. Net Exparel revenues were $76.2 million in 2013.

Pacira carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Revenues from Pacira’s Exparel grew from $2.3 million in its first quarter of launch to $30.5 million in the reported quarter. Through commercial initiatives and strategic partnerships, Pacira has not only broadened the use of Exparel across specialties and procedures, but also provided adequate access and resources to key hospital and ambulatory surgery audiences. Shares of Pacira rose 6.6% on the impressive fourth-quarter earnings release.

Investors looking for better-ranked stocks in the pharma sector may consider companies like Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX - Analyst Report), Actavis plc (ACT - Analyst Report) and Lannett Co., Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report). Actavis and Forest Labs carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) while Lannett carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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