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Peregrine Reports Narrower Loss

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Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reported a net loss of 4 cents per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2013 (ended Jan 31, 2013), narrower than the year-ago loss of 13 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 6 cents per share.

Revenues increased 114.5% to $7.0 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4 million. Increase in revenues reflected the increase in the contract manufacturing revenue.

Avid Bioservices, a Peregrine subsidiary, posted a 117.3% increase in revenues to $7.0 million.  This was driven by a higher number of completed manufacturing runs. For fiscal 2013, Peregrine expects contract manufacturing revenue to be at least $20 million.

Total costs and expenses decreased 15.1% during the third quarter of fiscal 2013 to $12.2 million. Research and development expenses decreased 40.8% to $5.4 million and selling, general and administrative expenses were up 14.8% to $3.1 million.

We note, in Feb 2013, Peregrine announced encouraging top-line data on its key pipeline candidate, bavituximab from a phase II trial that was conducted in patients with second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Peregrine Pharma also intends to enter into discussions with regulatory bodies including a meeting with the FDA during the second quarter of calendar 2013. The company is looking to move the candidate into phase III for NSCLC by year end.

Peregrine Pharma is also evaluating bavituximab in other oncology indications. We expect investor focus to remain on updates on the future development path for bavituximab.

Peregrine Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Biopharma companies that currently look more attractive include Cytokinetics, Inc. (CYTK - Free Report) and Array BioPharma Inc. (ARRY - Free Report) . While Cytokinetics is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, Array is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

Another company that currently looks well-positioned is Osiris Therapeutics, Inc. . Osiris is also a Zacks Rank #1 stock.

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