Juno Therapeutics Inc. reported second-quarter 2017 loss of 75 cents per share (including stock-based compensation expenses), wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 74 cents and the year-ago loss of 65 cents per share.
Juno’s shares have significantly outperformed the industry so far this year. The company’s shares have gained 54.2%, while the industry registered a gain of 9.3%.
The biotech reported total revenue of $21.3 million in the quarter, down 22.8% from the year-ago period’s tally of $27.6 million. This decrease in top line was mainly due to a milestone payment recognized under Juno’s sublicense agreement with Novartis (NVS - Free Report) in the prior-year quarter. Revenues, however, comfortably outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $17 million by 23.5%.
The company’s adjusted research and development expenses in the reported quarter decreased 7.9% from the year-ago period to $77.8 million (including stock-based compensation expenses).
General and administrative expenses amounted to $23.6 million (including stock-based compensation expenses), up 40.5%, primarily due to increased headcount to support the business and consulting costs related to commercial readiness plus personnel costs.
Juno’s key pipeline candidates are JCAR017 and JCAR014.
JCAR017 is presently undergoing a phase I study for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and a phase I/II study in pediatric and young adults with r/r ALL. In June, the company presented updated data from the phase I study at Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The data demonstrated 50% complete response in patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive cd19+ NHL.
A pivotal trial for JCAR017 in r/r DLBCL (diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) is also underway. Interim results from the study were also announced at ASCO. Data from the study claimed 59% complete response in patients with r/r DLBCL.
The company plans to bring JCAR017 to the market for NHL as early as 2018 and for multiple indications by the end of 2019.
On the other hand, JCAR014 is being evaluated in a phase II study on patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), who failed to respond to the treatment with AbbVie Inc.’s (ABBV) Imbruvica (ibrutinib).
The company expects cash burn in the range of $270–$300 million in 2017.
Juno’s cash burn in the second quarter was $59.8 million. The same includes cash used in operating activities and capital expenditures, excluding cash inflows or outflows from upfront payments related to business development activities.
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of June 30, 2017 were $801.8 million, down 5.7% compared with $850.7 million as of March 31, 2017.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Juno currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some other stocks worth considering from the healthcare sector are Enzo Biochem, Inc. and Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.
Enzo Biochem’s loss per share estimates narrowed down from 12 cents to 7 cents for 2017 and from 11 cents to 3 cents for 2018, over the last 60 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprises in all the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 55.83%. The company’s share price has surged 60.9% year to date.
Exelixis’s earnings per share estimates inched up from 17 cents to 19 cents for 2017 and from 53 cents to 55 cents for 2018, over the last 30 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprises in all the last four quarters with an average beat of 543.59%. Exelixis’s shares have soared 73.6% so far this year.
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