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Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR - Analyst Report) reported a loss of 48 cents per share in the first quarter of 2013, wider than the year-ago loss of 34 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 41 cents. The wider loss during the quarter was primarily due to higher expenses.

Quarter in Details

Total revenues in the reported quarter jumped 28.2% to $23.0 million. The increase in quarterly revenues was primarily due to higher product sales. Revenues in the first quarter of 2013 were also boosted by the inclusion of non-cash royalty revenues from the sale of future royalties pertaining to UCB’s (UCBJF) Cimzia and Roche Holdings' (RHHBY - Analyst Report) Mircera.

In Feb 2012, the company had sold all its rights to receive future royalty payments on net sales of Cimzia and Mircera to Royalty Pharma for $124 million. Revenues however missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $25 million.

Total revenues comprised net product revenues, royalty revenues, non-cash royalty revenues, license and collaboration revenues and others.

Nektar’s net product revenues of approximately $11.8 million were up 70.1% during the reported quarter.

Nektar’s royalty revenues decreased 89.8% to $0.3 million during the quarter. The company’s license, collaboration and other revenues also decreased during the reported quarter. The company recorded license, collaboration and other revenues of $6.5 million, down 17.3%.

Research and development (R&D) expenses were up 30.0% to $45.6 million in the first quarter of 2013. R&D expenses during the quarter increased primarily due to higher clinical expenses related to its pipeline.

The company expects to complete the enrolment process for the phase III BEACON study on NKTR-102 for the treatment of patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer by the third quarter of this year. The company expects data from the study in 2014. NKTR-102 is also being developed for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Nektar’s general and administrative (G&A) expenses also increased 6.9% to $11.1 million during the quarter.

2013 Outlook

Apart from disclosing its financial results, Nektar also maintained its guidance for 2013. The company still expects total revenues in the range of $200–$210 million, including potential milestone payments of $95 million. The revenue guidance also includes $20 million of non-cash royalty revenues in relation to Cimzia and Mircera.

Nektar reiterated its R&D expenses for 2013 in the range of $200 million to $220 million. Nektar’s G&A expenses for 2013 are also maintained in the range of $42–$44 million.

Nektar, a biopharma company, currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, other biopharma stocks such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ - Analyst Report) currently look better positioned carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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