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What's in Store for Horizon (HZNP) This Earnings Season?

Horizon Pharma plc HZNP is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 9, before the opening bell. Last quarter, the company recorded a negative earnings surprise of 20%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for the first quarter of 2016.

Factors Likely to Impact Q1 Results

Last month, Horizon Pharma provided weaker-than-expected net sales and adjusted EBITDA expectations for the first quarter of 2016. However, the company reiterated its 2016 guidance that was provided during the completion of the Crealta Holdings acquisition this January. We note that the acquisition added Krystexxa (the first and only FDA-approved medicine for chronic refractory gout) and Migergot (vascular headache) to the company’s portfolio.

For 2016, Horizon Pharma continues to expect net sales in the range of $1.025 billion to $1.050 billion. It still expects adjusted EBITDA in the range of $505 million to $520 million. In first-quarter 2016, the company expects to record 19–20% of total net sales for the year. Moreover, the company anticipates generating 13–14% (34% of sales) of adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2016.

Horizon Pharma expects a major part of its sales and EBITDA to come in the second half of the year.

Horizon Pharma also disclosed prescription results for some of its products in the first quarter of 2016. While total prescriptions of Duexis and Vimovo showed substantial year-over-growth of 78% and 38%, respectively, Pennsaid 2% increased a whopping 218% year over year. Overall, the Primary Care unit soared 89% year over year while Rayos shot up 117% year over year.

Though seasonality could affect the performance this year like other years, Horizon Pharma expects sales from Krystexxa to some extent offset this seasonality. The company is persistently expanding its sales force to support existing and newly acquired medicines.

Focus will also be on the performance of the two other business units of the company – Orphan and Rheumatology – as well as the performance of other products including Actimmune. The company’s business development plans for the year will also be something to look out for.

Surprise History

Horizon Pharma’s performance has been far from encouraging with the company missing earnings estimates on two occasions while surpassing in one. Overall, the company has an average negative earnings surprise of 1.12%.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Horizon Pharma is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That 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 likely post an earnings beat. That is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is -13.16%.

Zacks Rank: Horizon Pharma’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of the ESP but when combined with a negative ESP makes a surprise prediction difficult.

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

Stocks that Warrant a Look

Here are some health care stocks that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter.

The Earnings ESP for BIND Therapeutics, Inc. BIND is +7.14% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 9.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc JAZZ has an Earnings ESP of +6.11% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 10.

The Earnings ESP for Impax Laboratories Inc. IPXL is +8.89% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 10.

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