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Ligand (LGND) Beats on Q2 Earnings & Sales, Raises View

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Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (LGND - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings of $1.00 per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents. The company had reported adjusted earnings of 68 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenues increased 65.8% year over year to $41.4 million mainly due to higher Captisol revenues. Moreover, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $28.22 million.

Shares of Ligand were up 1.6% following the results. The company’s shares have gained 14.2% so far this year compared with the industry’s 3.7% increase.

Quarterly Highlights

Beginning first-quarter 2020, the company reports revenues under four categories — Royalties, Captisol, Service revenues and Contract revenues.

Royalty revenues were $7.2 million in the second quarter compared with $6.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Ligand primarily earns royalties on sales of Amgen's (AMGN - Free Report) Kyprolis and Acrotech Biopharma’s Evomela, which were developed using its Captisol technology.

Captisol sales were $24.5 million compared with $8.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The significant increase was due to higher sales of Captisol to support availability of Gilead’s (GILD - Free Report) remdesivir as a treatment for patients with severe COVID-19. The drug received FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization on May 1. Based on Ligand’s current outlook, it plans to increase annual production capacity of Captisol more than eight-fold next year.

Contract revenues were $5.2 million in the second quarter compared with $5.3 million a year ago. The company recorded Service revenue of $4.6 million, almost flat year over year.

2020 Guidance Raised

Ligand raised its guidance for sales and earnings for 2020. The company expects total revenues and earnings for 2020 to be approximately $165 million and $4.10 per share, compared with the previous guidance of $140 million and $3.65 per share, respectively. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues and earnings per share is pegged at $140.7 million and $3.70, respectively.

Zacks Rank

Ligand currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Moderna, Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) is a better-ranked stock  from the biotech sector, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

For 2020, Moderna’s estimates have narrowed from loss of $1.56 to loss of $1.42 over the past 30 days. For 2021, its earnings per share estimates have moved up from 5 cents to $1.90 in the said time frame. The company delivered a beat in each of the trailing four quarters, with the average being 8.92%. Share price of the company has increased 298.7% so far this year.

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