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Acorda Provides Guidance

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Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR - Free Report) recently disclosed unaudited sales of Ampyra (dalfampridine) extended release tablets, 10 mg for the fourth quarter and full year 2012.  Acorda announced that the Ampyra revenues were approximately $73 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 4.6% from the previous quarter. Total Ampyra sales in 2012 were $266 million, up approximately 26% year over year.

The company expects Ampyra revenues in the range of $285 million – $315 million. Ampyra is available outside the US under the trade name Fampyra. Fampyra and Zanaflex revenues are expected to be $25 million. Cash flow is expected to be positive in 2013.

Acorda also issued guidance for 2013 sales, general and administrative (SG&A) expense and research and development (R&D) expense. While former is expected in the range of $170 million – $180 million, the latter is expected in the range of $60 million – $70 million.

Currently, Acorda is preparing to submit a 505(b)(2) type new drug application (NDA) for diazepam nasal spray for the management of seizure in certain epilepsy patients. The company plans to submit the regulatory application to the FDA towards the end of 2013.

The company stated that Ampyra is also being studied for other indications including cerebral palsy (phase II proof-of-concept study ongoing with results expected by second quarter 2013) and post-stroke deficits (phase II proof-of-concept study ongoing with results due in the second quarter of 2013).

Though sales of the company’s key product Ampyra have improved in the past few quarters, it remains to be seen whether the performance is sustainable. Moreover, we remain concerned about the company’s dependence on Ampyra for growth. We prefer to remain on the sidelines until we see a sustained improvement in Ampyra’s performance.

Consequently, we maintain a Neutral recommendation on Acorda. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) in the short run.

Pharma stocks that currently look attractive include companies like Allergan (AGN - Free Report) , Novartis (NVS - Free Report) and Novo Nordisk (NVO - Free Report) . Each of these companies carry a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).

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