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Why Is Agenus (AGEN) Down 17.7% Since its Last Earnings Report?

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A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Agenus Inc. (AGEN - Free Report) . Shares have lost about 17.7% in that time frame.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is AGEN 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 drivers.

Agenus Q4 Loss Wider Than Expected, Revenues Miss

Agenus incurred fourth-quarter 2017 loss of 35 cents per share, wider than both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 28 cents and the year-ago loss of 30 cents.

Revenues of $8.4 million missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $16 million. However, the top line was up from $5.6 million in the prior-year period.

Quarterly Highlights

Agenus’ fourth-quarter research and development (R&D) expenses were up 22.7% to $31.9 million. General and administrative expenses were slightly up by 12.9% to $9.8 million.

Pipeline Update

Agenus is progressing well with various candidates in its pipeline. During the quarter under review, the company commenced phase II combination trials on CTLA-4 antibody, AGEN1884 in combination with Merck's PD-1 antibody, Keytruda among patients with first-line NSCLC. 

Agenus has already completed the dose escalation clinical trials of its CTLA-4 and PD-1 compounds. It also launched a phase II combination study of the PD-1 proprietary agents in second line cervical cancer. This combo regimen assessment may also support a BLA filing as soon as 2020.

The company made a significant advancement with five novel immuno-oncology antibodies, discovered and developed in 2017. It expects to file IND applications for at least three of these antibodies by 2018. In fact, the first IND filing will be for its next-generation CTLA-4, designed to deplete cancer-prone Tregs and improve T-cell priming. 

The company also reported safety and immunogenicity of its first synthetic neoantigen vaccine, ASV. Combination studies of ASV with the company’s own checkpoint antibodies are planned for 2018.

2017 Results

The company reported a loss of $1.23 in 2017, narrower than $1.46 of loss in 2016. The figure was however, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.16.

Revenues in 2017 came in at $42.9 million, up 89.9% year over year. However, the top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $50.1 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

In the past month, investors have witnessed a downward trend in fresh estimates. There has been one revision lower for the current quarter. Last month, the consensus estimate has shifted downward by 23.5% due to these changes.

Agenus Inc. Price and Consensus

 

VGM Scores

At this time, AGEN has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum is doing a bit better with a D. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the fifth 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.

Our style scores indicate investors will probably be better served looking elsewhere.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock and the magnitude of this revision looks promising. It's no surprise AGEN has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.




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