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ARIAD (ARIA) Q1 Loss Narrower But Revenues Disappoint (Revised)

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc. ARIA reported a loss of 26 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago loss of 28 cents.

First-quarter revenues shot up 48.4% from the year-ago quarter to $35.6 million but were well below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $49 million.

The Quarter in Detail

Iclusig (ponatinib) generated sales of $33.6 million, up 0.9% sequentially reflecting higher demand and new patient growth. Iclusig sales in the U.S. declined 0.8% sequentially to $24.9 million. The company reported revenues of $8.7 million from the EU, up 6.1% sequentially.

Research & development (R&D) expenses increased 11.9% from the year-ago period to $44.1 million. This was primarily due to increased costs related to brigatinib’s ALTA study and NDA enabling pre-clinical studies.

Selling, general & administrative (SG&A) expenses increased 7.2% year over year to $35.9 million reflecting personnel costs related to sales force expansion and commercial expenses to support the commercialization of Iclusig and the anticipated launch of brigatinib.

Incyte to Buy European Operations, In-License Iclusig in Europe

ARIAD announced that it intends to sell its European operations and license commercial rights to Iclusig in Europe to Incyte Corporation INCY. ARIAD will get an upfront payment of $140 million as well as tiered royalties (32% - 50%) on European sales of Iclusig and milestone payments (up to $135 million) for future indications of Iclusig. ARIAD’s agreement with Incyte is part of its ongoing strategic review.

Updates Outlook

In order to reflect the Incyte deal, slated to close on Jun 1, ARIAD updated its outlook for 2016. The company expects global Iclusig net product and royalty revenues in the range of $170 million - $180 million ($162 million - $170 million of product revenue and $8 million - $10 million of royalty revenue), compared to the previous guidance of $190 million - $200 million.

R&D spend is expected in the range of $175 million - $180 million awhile SG&A spend is expected to be $120 million - $125 million. The expense guidance reflects an expected reduction in expenses of about $30 million from the planned divesture of the European business.

The Incyte deal is expected to result in savings of approximately $65 million in 2017.
Our Take

ARIAD’s first-quarter results were mixed with the company posting a narrower-than-expected loss and revenues falling significantly short of expectations. We are positive on the Incyte deal which will allow the company to focus on the U.S. market. It also provides the company with a non-dilutive source of funds.

We expect investor focus to remain on Iclusig’s performance and brigatinib data that will be presented next month at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

ARIAD is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. A couple of better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are ArQule Inc. ARQL and BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. BSTC. Both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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(We are reissuing this article to correct a mistake. The original article, issued on May 10, 2016, should no longer be relied upon).


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