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Is a Beat in Store for Agenus (AGEN) this Earnings Season?

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Agenus Inc. (AGEN - Free Report) is expected to report second-quarter 2017 on Jul 27.

In the last reported quarter, Agenus delivered a positive earnings surprise of 43.75%. Moreover, the trailing four-quarter average surprise is 8.84%.

Notably, Agenus’ share price has increased 23.5% year to date, outperforming the industry’s 11.7% rally. Let’s see how things are shaping up for the company this quarter.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model shows that Agenus is likely to beat earnings in the quarter as it has the right combination of two key ingredients – a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) – which have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings.

Zacks ESP: Agenus has an Earnings ESP of +5.56% as the Most Accurate estimate is at a loss of 34 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at a loss of 36 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Agenus currently carries a Zacks Rank #2, which when combined with a positive ESP makes us reasonably confident of an earnings beat.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement.

Factors at Play

Agenus is an immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of checkpoint modulators, vaccines and adjuvants for the treatment of cancer. It earns revenues only through fees received under collaboration and license agreements.

Currently, the company is evaluating AGEN1884 in a phase I study and INCAGN01876 in a phase I/II study, for the treatment of solid tumors. In fact, Agenus has initiated phase I study for anti-OX40 agonist antibody – INCAGN1949 – in a phase I/II study in collaboration with Incyte. It expects to begin combination studies on AGEN2034 and AGEN1884 in the second half of 2017.

In its second-quarter conference call, investors are likely to remain focused on the company’s update on the initiation of combination studies on these antibodies. They are expected to focus on the advancement of additional checkpoint modulator antibodies and vaccines into the clinic in the coming quarters.

In January, Agenus entered into a clinical trial collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to evaluate Prophage (HSPPC-96), in conjunction with Merck & Co., Inc.‘s (MRK - Free Report)    PD-1 therapy, Keytruda. A phase II study will evaluate the effect of Prophage, in conjunction with Keytruda, on the overall survival rate of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (ndGBM).

In March, the company restructured its operations. This decision was taken in order to cut costs and sharpening its focus on developing key product candidates. The company plans to close its Basel site and consolidate key functions in Cambridge, the U.K. and Lexington, MA, in the near term. The move is anticipated to result in the elimination of 50 positions over the next six months. Furthermore, Agenus will transition or consolidate certain key management positions, with the objective of streamlining leadership and reducing costs.

Agenus Inc. Price and EPS Surprise


Agenus Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Agenus Inc. Quote

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are some health care stocks that you may want to consider, as our model shows that it has the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ICPT - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +9.39% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release results on Aug 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +3.32% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release results on Jul 26.

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