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What's in the Cards for Immune Design (IMDZ) in Q3 Earnings?

Immune Design Corp. IMDZ is scheduled to report third-quarter 2017 results on Nov 1.

Last quarter, the company pulled off a positive earnings surprise of 16.92%. In fact, it outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters, with an average earnings beat 12.94%.

However, Immune Design’s shares have lost 25.5% year to date compared with the industry’s decline of 2.2%.

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

Factors at Play

Being a development-stage biopharmaceutical company, Immune Design has not generated any product revenues yet. Notably, it earns revenues from collaboration and licensing agreements, and product sales.

Furthermore, investors remain focused on the company’s progress based on its pipeline candidates. Evidently, Immune Design is developing multiple candidates using its two discovery platforms — ZVex and GLAAS — for the treatment of various types of cancers. The company’s key pipeline candidates include CMB305 (solid tumor) and G100 (merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)).

CMB305 has been designed under a prime-boost approach, involving the sequential dosing of two complementary agents - LV305 and G305.

Currently, this candidate is being evaluated in soft tissue sarcoma (STS) patients both as monotherapy (phase I) and in combination with Roche Holding’s RHHBY Tecentriq (phase II). In August 2017, Immune Design announced positive data from its interim analysis of the ongoing phase II study evaluating CMB305 in combination with Tecentriq or Tecentriq alone in 88 soft tissue sarcoma patients.

Meanwhile, G100, developed on the GLAAS platform, completed enrolment in a phase I study in patients with MCC in combination with radiation. Therefore, Immune Design is collaborating with Merck to evaluate G100 in combination with its anti-PD-1 agent Keytruda for the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL).

Markedly, the company completed a phase I study on G100 in patients with MCC. Also, it has initiated a randomized phase II study evaluating the safety and efficacy of G100, in combination with low-dose local radiation and Keytruda, in patients with follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Data from the evaluation are expected in 2017.  

During the earnings call, we expect Immune Design to shed light on its progress with these ongoing trials.

What Our Model Indicates

Our proven model does not conclusively show an earnings beat for Immune Design this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both — a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) — to be able to beat estimates. However, that is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Immune Design has an Earnings ESP of -10.32%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate is 70 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at a loss of 63 cents. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Immune Design has a Zacks Rank #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s negative ESP makes surprise prediction difficult for the quarter.

Conversely, we caution against Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Immune Design Corp. Price and EPS Surprise


Immune Design Corp. Price and EPS Surprise | Immune Design Corp. Quote

Stocks to Consider

Here are healthcare companies that you may consider instead, as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

Clovis Oncology, Inc. CLVS is scheduled to release results on Nov 1, after market close. The company has an Earnings ESP of +2.01% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Agenus Inc. AGEN has an Earnings ESP of +8.11% and a Zacks Rank #2. The company is scheduled to release results on Nov 7.

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