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VIVUS Inc. (VVUS - Free Report) reported a loss of 9 cents per share in the third quarter of 2016, narrower than both the year-ago loss of 15 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 25 cents.

However, the company reported total revenue of $13.4 million in the third quarter, down 46.2% from the year-ago period and below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $14 million.

Qsymia Under Pressure

The company’s weight management drug Qsymia generated net product sales of $12.3 million, down 12.1% from the year-ago period despite prescription growth of 25.9% on a sequential basis and 33.9% on a year-over-year basis to approximately 146,000.

The company has launched a new Qsymia Patient Savings Offer in order to lure more patients to the brand and support their weight loss efforts over the long term. However, the anti-obesity pharmaceutical market, including Qsymia, declined 5% sequentially in the third quarter.

Stendra royalty revenues came in at $1.1 million, up 21.9% from the year-ago period.

In the reported quarter, research and development expenses were $1.7 million, down 13.3% year over year, reflecting the timing of clinical projects supporting Qsymia post-marketing requirements. Likewise, selling, general and administrative expenses were down 39.2% to $10.4 million.

On Sep 30, VIVUS inked a license, commercialization and commercial supply agreement with Metuchen Pharmaceuticals for Stendra. Under the terms of the agreement, VIVUS received an upfront payment of $70 million from Metuchen. In exchange, Metuchen received the rights to commercialize Stendra in the U.S., Canada, South America and India.

Our Take

VIVUS’ third-quarter results were mixed with the company reporting a narrower than expected loss but revenues missing estimates. Qsymia’s performance was dismal and challenges in the obesity market could make it difficult for the drug’s sales to pick up pace. Qsymia is also facing patent challenges.

Thus, the company is working on ramping up Qsymia sales and believes that the long-term upside potential for branded obesity products remains substantial given the growing rate of obesity in adults.

VIVUS’ shares were flat following the release of its third-quarter results.

VIVUS INC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


VIVUS INC Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | VIVUS INC Quote

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

VIVUS currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL - Free Report) , Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INFI - Free Report) and Anika Therapeutics Inc. (ANIK - Free Report) . While Anika sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Infinity and Exelixis carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Anika’s earnings estimates increased from $1.96 to $2.06 for 2016 and from $2.03 to $2.09 for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company has posted a positive surprise in all of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 33.14%. Its share price has gained approximately 19% year to date.

Exelixis’ loss estimates narrowed from 71 cents to 51 cents for 2016 and from a loss of 16 cents to earnings of 4 cents for 2017 over the last 60 days. The company has posted a positive surprise twice in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 38.52%. Its share price has skyrocketed above 150% year to date.

Infinity’s loss estimates narrowed from $3.84 to $3.79 for 2016 over the last 60 days. The company has posted a positive surprise in all of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 28.38%.

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