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Corcept (CORT) Earnings and Revenues Miss Estimates in Q2

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Corcept Therapeutics Inc. (CORT - Free Report) reported adjusted second-quarter 2018 earnings of 20 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents. However, the bottom line improved from the year-ago period’s figure of 13 cents on higher revenues.

Revenues recorded in the quarter under review soared 75% from the prior-year quarter’s level to $62.3 million but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $68.5 million. The increase was primarily owing to broad-based organic growth and a greater number of patients being prescribed with its key Cushing's syndrome drug Korlym.

However, shares of Corcept have lost 22.6% year to date versus the industry’s increase of 1.6%.

Research and development expenses (excluding stock-based compensation) skyrocketed 164.4% to $18.5 million. Likewise, selling, general and administrative expenses surged 30.1% to $15.9 million.

Operating expenses in the second quarter were $41.7 million, up 82.9% from the year- earlier quarter’s number of $22.8 million due to higher spending on the development of relacorilant, CORT118335 and CORT125281 plus costs arising from an expanded sales volume.

Pipeline Update

The company plans to conduct a phase II/III study on relacorilant for the treatment of both Cushing’s syndrome and solid tumors. Relacorilant’s phase II trial is a 35-patient open-label study conducted in the United States as well as Europe. The purpose of this program is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of relacorilant over a range of potential doses. So, the optimum range can be advanced to phase III.

In June, Corcept announced positive data from a phase I/II analysis on relacorilant in combination with Celgene's (CELG - Free Report) Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) to treat patients with solid tumors. The data was presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Meeting in Chicago. Findings from the study showed that four of the nine patients with pancreatic cancer and four of the seven with ovarian cancer exhibited a durable disease control. By this year-end, the company plans to begin a placebo-controlled, phase II trial on relacorilant combined with Abraxane to treat metastatic ovarian cancer.

The company is enrolling patients in its dose-ranging study of CORT125281, a combined regime with Pfizer’s (PFE - Free Report) Xtandi to tend to patients suffering metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer at sites in the United States and Europe. At the same time, University of Chicago investigators continue to advance their multicenter phase II assessment of Korlym plus Xtandi for which, 84 patients were enrolled.

The company’s lead compound for metabolic disorders, CORT118335, consistently makes a progress in its phase I study. The company is planning for phase II studies on patients with antipsychotic-induced weight gain and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) by the end of 2018.

2018 Guidance

Corcept lowered its revenue guidance to $250-270 million from $275-300 million in the previous quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year revenues is pegged at $295.79 million.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Corcept currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the healthcare sector is Illumina, Inc. (ILMN - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Illumina’s earnings estimates have been revised 11.1% upward for 2018 and 8.9% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has jumped 52.6% so far this year.

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