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Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) Down 0.7% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 0.7% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

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

Q1 Loss Narrower Than Expected, Sales Miss

Ionis reported a loss of 98 cents per share for first-quarter 2024, which was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.10 per share.

The bottom line includes compensation expenses related to equity awards. Excluding these special items, adjusted loss per share was 77 cents against a loss of 68 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenues were $119 million in the first quarter, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $131.5 million. Revenues declined 1.2% year over year.

Quarter in Detail

Commercial revenues were $59 million in the first quarter, down 13.2% year over year. Commercial revenues missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $65 million.

Commercial revenues from Spinraza royalties were $38 million, down 24% year over. The unfavorable timing of shipments in several outside U.S. markets hurt Spinraza sales. Spinraza royalties missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $48.7 million.

In the first quarter, Wainua royalty revenues were $1 million.  Wainua generated sales of $5 million in the first partial quarter of the launch recorded by AstraZeneca. Other commercial revenues were $20 million compared with $18 million in the year-ago quarter.

Other commercial revenues include revenues from Tegsedi and Waylivra distribution fees and license and royalty revenues. License and royalty revenues also include royalties from Qalsody U.S. product sales.

R&D revenues declined 4.8% year over year to $60.0 million. Collaborative agreement revenues were $49 million in the quarter compared with $39 million in the year-ago quarter. Joint development revenues for Wainua from partner AstraZeneca were $11 million in the quarter compared with $24 million in the year-ago quarter.

Adjusted operating costs rose 9.2% year over year to $238 million in the quarter, mainly due to higher SG&A costs for go-to-market activities for Wainua, olezarsen and donidalorsen. R&D costs also increased in the quarter due to the timing of late-stage pipeline development activities.

2024 Guidance

Ionis maintained its financial guidance for 2024. The company expects total revenues to be more than $575 million in 2024. Revenues in subsequent quarters of 2024 are expected to be modestly higher compared to the first quarter based on anticipated regulatory milestones, license fees and R&D funding from partners.

Adjusted operating loss is expected to be less than $475 million. Adjusted operating expenses are expected to increase in the mid-single-digit range year over year in 2024.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended upward during the past month.

VGM Scores

At this time, Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a poor Growth Score of F, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the bottom 20% 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.


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

Performance of an Industry Player

Ionis Pharmaceuticals belongs to the Zacks Medical - Drugs industry. Another stock from the same industry, United Therapeutics (UTHR - Free Report) , has gained 6% over the past month. More than a month has passed since the company reported results for the quarter ended March 2024.

United Therapeutics reported revenues of $677.7 million in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +33.7%. EPS of $6.17 for the same period compares with $4.86 a year ago.

United Therapeutics is expected to post earnings of $6.16 per share for the current quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +17.6%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed +0.5%.

United Therapeutics has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of A.

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