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bluebird (BLUE) Q1 Loss Wider Than Expected, Revenues Beat

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bluebird bio, Inc. (BLUE - Free Report) reported a loss of $3.07 per share for first-quarter 2021, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $3.05 but narrower than the year-ago quarter's loss of $3.64.

Revenues of $12.8 million beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11 million. The top line, however, declined 41.5% year over year due to a decrease in ide-cel license and manufacturing services revenues.

Shares of the company have plunged 32.5% in the year so far compared with the industry’s decrease of 6%.

price chart for BLUE

Quarter in Detail   

Research and development expenses increased to $154.5 million from $154.1 million recorded a year ago due to higher costs incurred through the amended collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY - Free Report) .

Selling, general and administrative expenses of $86.9 million were up from $73.2 million in the year-ago quarter due to increased headcount and costs incurred to support the company’s ongoing operations and growth of its pipeline.

Recent Updates

In March 2021, the company along with partner Bristol Myers obtained an FDA approval for Abecma (idecabtagenevicleucel; ide-cel) as the first B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. The company plans to treat the first patient with Abecma in the first half of 2021.

The approval is expected to lend a significant boost to bluebird on two counts because it marks its first-approved treatment in oncology as well as in the United States.

In February 2021, bluebird announced the temporary suspension of its phase I/II (HGB-206) and phase III (HGB-210) studies of LentiGlobin gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) due to reported Suspected Unexpected Serious Adverse Reactions (SUSARs) of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The company is investigating these events and plans to continue working closely with the FDA in their review of these events.

In March 2021, bluebird announced updated findings from the reported case of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in LentiGlobin for SCDgene therapy program.

The company remains on track to complete its rolling biologics license application (BLA) submission to the FDA in mid-2021 for beti-cel.


On Jan 11, 2021, bluebird announced its plans to separate its severe genetic disease and oncology businesses into two independent publicly-traded companies (bluebird bio and Oncology Newco, which is now known as 2seventy bio). The spin-off is expected to be completed by 2021-end.

bluebird bio, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

bluebird bio, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

bluebird bio, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart
| bluebird bio, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

bluebird currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASLN - Free Report) and Nabriva Therapeutics AG (NBRV - Free Report) , both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

ASLAN Pharmaceuticals’ loss per share estimates have narrowed 26.3% for 2021 and 43.9% for 2022 over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 59% year to date.

Nabriva Therapeutics’ loss per share estimates have narrowed 40.9% for 2021 and 45.3% for 2022 over the past 60 days.

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