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Alexion (ALXN) Beats on Q3 Earnings & Sales, Ups '20 Guidance

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Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (ALXN - Free Report) third-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.24 per share comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.59 and grew from $2.79 in the year-ago quarter.

Moreover, revenues rose 26% year over year to $1.59 billion in the reported quarter and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.42 billion. The negative impact of foreign currency on total revenues was 2%, inclusive of hedging activities. Revenues were driven by higher sales of Soliris, Ultomiris and Strensiq.

Shares of Alexion have gained 8.2% in the year so far against the industry’s decline of 6.9%.

Revenues in Detail

Soliris (approved for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria [PNH], atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome [aHUS] and generalized myasthenia gravis [gMG]) sales were up 5% year over year to $1042.3 million in the reported quarter.

Long-acting C5 complement inhibitor, Ultomiris, approved for the treatment of adult patients with PNH and aHUS, generated sales of $289.3 million compared with $89.9 million in the year-ago quarter,representing a 222% increase.

Strensiq revenues were $189.4 million (up 23% year over year). Kanuma contributed $28.4 million (flat year over year) to quarterly revenues.

Cost Summary

Adjusted research and development (R&D) expenses increased to $269.3 million from $186.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Adjusted selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses were $301.3 million, up from $260.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

2020 Guidance

Alexion increased total revenues and adjusted earnings per share guidance but lowered the operating margin view.

The company now expects adjusted earnings per share of $11.70-$12.00 (previous guidance:$10.65-$10.95). The company now projects revenues of $5.90-$5.95 billion (previous guidance: $$5.50-$5.60 billion).

Combined revenues from Soliris and Ultomiris are now estimated at $5.00-$5.04 billion (previous guidance: $4.73-$4.76 billion).

Pipeline Update

Alexion’s phase II/III study on Soliris in children and adolescents with Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD) is underway.

In October, the FDA approved the Ultomiris100 mg/mL formulation for PNH and aHUS.

Our Take

Alexion’s third-quarter results were strong despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as Soliris maintains momentum. The company continues to take proactive measures to mitigate the risk of potential interruptions in supply and/or access to patients' customary site-of-care locations.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

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

Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector are Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (EBS - Free Report) , Castle Biosciences Inc. (CSTL - Free Report) and Vericel Corporation (VCEL - Free Report) , all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Emergent’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $4.23 to $6.61 for 2020 and from $5.55 to $8.42 for 2021 in the past 90 days.

Castle Biosciences’loss per share estimates have narrowed from 51 cents to 11 cents for 2020 in the past 90 days.

Vericel’s loss per share estimates have narrowed from 17 cents to 12 cents for 2020 in the past 60 days.


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