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United (UTHR) Stock Declines Despite Q1 Earnings Beat

United Therapeutics Corporation’s UTHR shares declined 10.9% on the company’s first quarter earnings report which saw the company beating on earnings but missing on revenues. First quarter earnings came in at $4.84 per share, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.33 per share. The company had reported a loss of 36 cents per share in the year-ago period.

Revenues for the reported quarter, which increased 12.7% year over year to $369 million, however fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $400 million.

Revenues in the first quarter grew from the year-ago period due to an increase in the number of patients being treated with Orenitram ($40.2 million, up 92.3%) and higher Adcirca revenues ($72.6 million, up 60.3%), as well as Unituxin sales ($14.2 million).

However, Remodulin revenues declined 4.4% from the year-ago quarter to $139.8 million. Meanwhile, Tyvaso sales slipped 9.9% to $102.2 million. The decline in Remodulin and Tyvaso revenues reflects the warehousing effect with patients waiting to be treated with newer products like Orenitram and Actelion’s ALIOF Uptravi.

On its earnings call, the company said that it does not expect this switching-over to have a long-term impact on sales as it expects patients to return to Tyvaso. In fact, United Therapeutics noted that Remodulin and Tyvaso sales were the highest ever in April.

Meanwhile, in addition to reporting first quarter results, United Therapeutics announced some changes in leadership roles. Roger Jeffs, Ph.D. stepped down as the company's President and Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and David Zaccardelli, Pharm.D. stepped down as the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The company's current Executive Vice President, Organizational Development, Michael Benkowitz, will take on the position of President and COO while Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D. will resume her previous role as sole CEO.

United Therapeutics is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector include Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AEGR and Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. EBS – both are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks.

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