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Aerie (AERI) Q3 Loss Wider, Sales Beat, Guidance Slashed

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Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AERI - Free Report) reported mixed results for the third quarter of 2019. The company lowered its annual revenue guidance. Consequently, shares are down in after-market trading.

Notably, Aerie’s stock has plunged 34% in the year so far against the industry’s growth of 3.7%.

The company reported a loss of 86 cents per share in third-quarter 2019, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 84 cents. The loss in the year-ago quarter was $1.73 per share.

The company’s first drug Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) is approved for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Aerie’s second drug, Rocklatan, a once-daily, quadruple-action, fixed-dose combination of Rhopressa and Pfizer’s (PFE - Free Report) Xalatan, is approved to reduce elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Sales from both drugs came in at $18.5 million in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $18 million and increasing from $7.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Sequentially, revenues were up 17.1%.

Quarter in Detail

Total operating expenses (excluding stock-based compensation expenses) in the quarter were $49.2 million, down from $58.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

Pipeline Update

In September, the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use adopted a positive opinion recommending approval of the marketing authorization application for Rhokiinsa (the name for Rhopressa in Europe) 0.02%. A final decision from the European Commission is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019. The phase III trial, Mercury 3, designed to support the commercialization of Rocklatan in Europe, continues to progress.

Aerie’s retina program, evaluating AR-13503 (Rho kinase and Protein kinase C inhibitor implant) and AR-1105 (dexamethasone steroid implant), continues to advance as well.  In March, a phase II study was initiated on AR-1105 for macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion and the study is fully enrolled ahead of schedule. A study on AR-13503 (Rho kinase and Protein kinase C inhibitor implant) commenced in August for wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

2019 Guidance

Aerie lowered its annual revenue guidance. The company expects full-year 2019 net revenues of $61-$66 million, down from the previous guidance of $70-$80 million, as volumes have been lower than expected.

Our Take

Though Aerie reported mixed results for the third quarter, the slashed guidance was disappointing. The volumes have not picked up as the company had projected. Also, competition is stiff from the likes of Allergan’s (AGN - Free Report) Lumigan and Bausch Health's (BHC - Free Report) Vyzulta, among others.

Zacks Rank

Aerie currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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