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Ophthotech (OPHT) Q4 Loss Wider than Expected, Sales Miss

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Ophthotech Corporation OPHT reported fourth-quarter 2016 loss of $1.86 per share, wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.64 and the year-ago loss of $1.02.


Ophthotech’s shares have underperformed Zacks classified Medical-Biomedical and Genetics so far this year. Specifically, the company’s shares lost 26.1%, whereas the industry registered an increase of 8.6%.

Given that Ophthotech does not have any approved product in its portfolio yet, its top line solely comprises collaboration revenues. The company earns collaboration revenues under its licensing and commercialization agreement with Novartis AG NVS.

Collaboration revenues increased 11.3% year over year to $5.3 million, primarily due to an increase in drug shipment to Novartis. Reported revenues, however, missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.3 million.

Quarter in Detail

Research and development expenses increased 75.2% to $59.4 million, mainly due to the phase III program on Fovista, which includes manufacturing expenses, personnel costs and share-based compensation expenses.

General and administrative expenses increased 7.4% from the year-ago period to $13 million due to higher costs to support the company's expanded operations and infrastructure. Such costs consists of additional management, corporate staffing, professional services and consulting fees, and increased share-based compensation.

2016 Results

Full-year sales dipped 1.2% year over year to $50.9 million. Sales missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $51.5 million.

The full-year loss of $5.45 per share was wider than Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $5.24. The company had incurred a loss of $3.06 per share a year ago.

Pipeline Update

The most advanced candidate in Ophthotech’s pipeline is Fovista. In Dec 2016, Ophthotech along with Novartis, announced disappointing results from two pivotal phase III studies – OPH1002 and OPH1003 – evaluating Fovista, in combination with Lucentis, for the treatment of wet AMD. Data revealed that both the studies failed to meet the primary endpoint of a mean change in best corrected visual acuity from baseline at 12 months.

In a separate press release, the companies declared that they will continue to analyze the data from these two studies in order to better understand the results.

Following the disappointing results from the studies, the company initiated a plan to review its strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value. The principal focus of the plan, based on the company's expertise and experience in ophthalmology, is to actively explore opportunities to obtain rights to additional products, product candidates and technologies to treat ophthalmic diseases, particularly those at the back of the eye.
The company anticipates initial top-line data from a third phase III study evaluating Fovista in combination with either Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (REGN - Free Report) Eylea or Roche’s Avastin in the second half of 2017.

Apart from Fovista, Ophthotech has Zimura in its pipeline. The company is also enrolling patients in a phase II/III study on Zimura (an inhibitor of complement factor C5). The candidate is being developed for treating patients with geographic atrophy, an advanced form of dry AMD.

Ophthotech Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Ophthotech Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Ophthotech Corporation Quote

Zacks Rank & Key Pick

Ophthotech currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the health care is Cellectis S.A. CLLS, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Cellectis’s loss estimates narrowed from $2.33 to $1.80 for 2016 and from $2.94 to $1.69 for 2017 over the last 30 days. The company posted positive surprises in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 111.20%.

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