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Why Is Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (SAGE) Down 22% Since Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (SAGE - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 22% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Sage Therapeutics, Inc. due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Q4 Earnings & Sales Beat Estimates

Sage reported a loss of 55 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2023, comprehensively beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.18. The company reported a loss of $2.47 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues in the quarter totaled $78 million, significantly up on a year-over-year basis. The figure also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $71 million. The year-over-year surge in revenues can be attributed to the milestone payment from Biogen, owing to the first commercial sale of Zurzuvae.

Quarter in Detail

Revenues in the reported quarter comprised product revenues, license and milestone revenue from related parties and collaboration revenue.

Product revenues came in at $2 million recorded from the company’s first marketed drug, Zulresso. The drug’s sales declined 31% year-over-year.

Collaboration revenues from the sale of Zurzuvae were $0.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2023. The drug was commercially launched in December.

License and milestone revenues were $75 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, which was received from Biogen upon the first commercial sale of Zurzuvae.

Research & development (R&D) expenses were $64.3 million, down 28% from the year-ago quarter’s levels. The decrease was due to cost savings measures, including reduced headcount and expenditures and reprioritization of early-stage pipeline programs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) declined 18.1% from the prior-year quarter’s figure to $55.1 million. This decrease can be attributed to reduced headcount and budgeted expenditures.

The company had $753 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of Dec 31, 2023, compared with $876 million on Sep 30, 2023. This cash balance, combined with expected funding from collaboration revenues, is expected to support the company’s operations into 2026.

Full Year Results

For 2023, Sage generated revenues of $86.5 million, significantly up year over year.

During the same period, the company reported a loss of $9.05 per share, compared to loss of $8.98 in the year-ago period.

2024 Guidance

Management does not expect receipt of any milestone payments from collaborations in the remainder of 2024.

The company anticipates operating expenses will decline in 2024 when compared to the year-ago period.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month.

The consensus estimate has shifted 5.93% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

Currently, Sage Therapeutics, Inc. has a subpar Growth Score of D, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the fifth quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Sage Therapeutics, Inc. has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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