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Amarin Down on Lower '19 View, Posts Preliminary '18 Results

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Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN - Free Report) reported preliminary results for 2018 and issued guidance for 2019. Notably, the results exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimates. However, the stock declined almost 7.2% during after-hours trading on Jan 4. This downturn can be attributed to Amarin’s 2019 outlook that lagged market expectations.

A glimpse of the company’s price trend reveals that Amarin has outperformed the industry in a year’s time. The stock has soared 208.4% against the industry’s decline of 18.9%.

2018 Preliminary Results

For 2018, the company’s preliminary results put expected total revenues in the range of $224-$228 million. In the fourth quarter, revenues are estimated to be in between $72 million and $76 million. Full-year and fourth-quarter revenues are at record level for Amarin. The estimated full-year sales represent growth of approximately 24-26% from the year-ago period. Notably, sales growth is driven by strong demand for the company’s sole drug, Vascepa. It is approved as an adjunct to diet in order to reduce triglyceride levels in adult patients with severe (≥500 mg/dL) hypertriglyceridemia.

The aforementioned guided range for 2018 lies above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $218.37 million.

Meanwhile, the company ended 2018 with approximately $249 million in cash. Amarin also ended the year with no outstanding debt except for remaining balance on its royalty-bearing instrument. The instrument is being repaid at a rate of 10% of Vascepa revenues and has aggregate outstanding balance of less than $90 million.

2019 Outlook

Amarin expects revenues to grow by 50% to approximately $350 million in 2019 compared to 2018 figure, mostly from Vascepa sales in the United States. Markedly, this does not include any increase in revenues from a probable Vascepa label expansion in the United States. The projected number missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $421.77 million for 2019.

In the first quarter of 2019, the company expects to file supplemental new drug application (sNDA) seeking expanded label for Vascepa to include cardiovascular data from a late-stage cardiovascular outcomes study, REDUCE-IT. Data from the study has demonstrated a significant reduction in cardiovascular risk in patients with LDL-C (bad cholesterol) controlled by statin therapy. Vascepa also led to a 26% reduction in cardiovascular death, heart attacks and stroke compared to placebo. The company may look for priority review for the sNDA.

Amarin expects research & development expenses to be approximately $40 million in 2019, with the same to be higher in the first half. The company expects total operating expenses to increase by $25 million to $50 million from 2018-levels.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Amarin currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector are NuCana PLC (NCNA - Free Report) , Merus N.V. (MRUS - Free Report) and Moleculin Biotech, Inc. (MBRX - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

NuCana’s loss estimates have narrowed 6.7% for 2018 and 7.4% for 2019 over the past 30 days. The stock has rallied 34.6% in the past year.

Merus’ loss estimates have narrowed 16.2% for 2018 and 14.6% for 2019 over the past 30 days.

Moleculin Biotech’s loss estimates have been narrowed 16.4% for 2018 and 22.9% for 2019 over the past 30 days.

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