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AcelRx (ACRX) to Report Q4 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

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At fourth-quarter 2019 earnings conference, we expect investors to focus on AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s ACRX updates related to the sales performance of its newly-launched pain management tablets Dsuvia and the number of REMS-certified facilities, which are able to purchase Dsuvia.

The company boasts an excellent earnings surprise history, surpassing expectations in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 24.24%. In the last reported quarter, AcelRx delivered a positive surprise of 30.43%.

Shares of AcelRx have plunged 50.6% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 3.8%.

Let’s see, how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factor to Watch

AcelRx has one marketed product in its portfolio, which is Dsuvia. This was approved by the FDA in November 2018 and was launched in the first quarter of 2019. The drug is approved for managing acute pain in adult patients in a certified medically supervised healthcare setting.

Dsuvia, also known as Dzuveo, is approved in Europe for the management of acute pain, which is severe enough to require an opioid analgesic for adult patients in certified medically supervised healthcare settings.

In January 2020, AcelRx provided preliminary results on Dsuvia launch metrices. The company reported that 166 REMS-certified healthcare facilities are now able to purchase Dsuvia and achieved 148 formulary approvals for the same through December 2019. This exceeded management’s year-end 2019 goals of 125 for each metric.

For 2019, AcelRx reported preliminary revenues of $2.3 million. The company also expects to have 465 REMS-certified facilities and 465 formulary approvals for Dsuvia in 2020. AcelRx set these as year-end goals, which were provided along with the preliminary results announced last month.

Key Development

AcelRx is developing another candidate called Zalviso as, which is a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) system for reducing moderate-to-severe acute pain in medically supervised settings. Currently, the company is evaluating the timing of resubmitting its new drug application for Zalviso in the United States. Investors will be been keen to get an update on the same during the upcoming earnings call.

Zalviso is also approved in Europe and is being commercialized by Grünenthal GmbH.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for AcelRx this season. The right combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of a positive surprise. But this is not the case here. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Earnings ESP: AcelRx has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as both the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the Most Accurate Estimate are pegged at a loss of 22 cents per share.

Zacks Rank: AcelRx carries a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are a few healthcare stocks worth considering as our model shows that these have the right mix of elements to beat estimates this time around.

Vericel Corporation VCEL has an Earnings ESP of +11.29% and a Zacks Rank of 1. The company is scheduled to release earnings results on Feb 25.

AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AMAG has an Earnings ESP of +36.55% and a Zacks Rank of 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. SAGE has an Earnings ESP of +2.74% and is Zacks #3 Ranked. The company is scheduled to release earnings results on Feb 27.

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