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Horizon (HZNP) Stock Up Despite Earnings & Revenue Miss

Horizon Pharma plc’s HZNP first-quarter 2016 earnings (including share-based compensation expense) of 17 cents per share increased from 13 cents per share reported in the year-ago quarter, but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 38 cents.

Total revenues in the reported quarter soared 81% year over year to $204.7 million driven by strong growth across all three of its business units – Primary Care, Orphan and Rheumatology. Reported revenues were however below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $226.9 million.

Horizon Pharma’s shares were up 13.9% following the release of first-quarter results.

Quarterly Details

Primary Care revenues increased 39% to $111 million, driven by a 94% year-over-year improvement in total prescriptions due to strong performance of Pennsaid 2% (up a substantial 201% to $55 million). However, both Duexis and Vimovo declined almost 51% and 45.7% sequentially to $29.6 million and $25.5 million, respectively. The decline was due to seasonality and increased control by certain pharmacy benefit managers and payors.

Migergot recorded sales of $0.9 million in the reported quarter.

The Orphan unit recorded revenues of $66.3 million. The unit includes sales of Ravicti, Actimmune and Buphenyl. Actimmune sales in the first quarter were $25.5 million, up 3% year over year. While Ravicti generated sales of $37.1 million, up 7.5% sequentially, Buphenyl contributed $3.7 million to total revenues, down almost 34% sequentially. We note that both Ravicti and Buphenyl became a part of company’s portfolio as a result of the May 2015 Hyperion Therapeutics acquisition.

The Rheumatology unit, comprising Krystexxa, Rayos and Lodotra, generated sales of $27.4 million, up 232% from the year-ago period. Krystexxa sales in the first quarter came in at $16.2 million. While Rayos revenues shot up 46% to $10.5 million, Lodotra revenues plummeted 33% to $0.7 million.

We note that both Migergot and Krystexxa became part of the company’s portfolio as a result of the Jan 2016 Crealta Holdings acquisition.

Adjusted research & development expenses increased 53.6% year over year to $8.6 million. Adjusted general and administrative expenses increased 76.3% to $34.9 million. Adjusted sales and marketing expenses increased 58% to $69.7 million.

2016 Guidance Maintained

Horizon Pharma reiterated its net sales and adjusted EBITDA expectations for the second quarter and full-year 2016. The company continues to expect net sales in the range of $1.025 billion to $1.050 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 37% at the midpoint. It still expects adjusted EBITDA in the range of $505 million to $520 million, representing year-over-year growth of 41% at the midpoint. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is $1.03 billion.

While 22–23% of net sales are still expected to come in the second quarter of 2016, the company projects 57–59% of net sales in the second half of 2016.

As far as adjusted EBITDA is concerned, the company continues to expect 21–22% to come in the second quarter of 2016. It expects to pick up pace in the second half of 2016 by reporting adjusted EBITDA of 64–66%.

The company's board of directors has also authorized a $5 million share repurchase program.

Pipeline Update

Patient enrolment in a phase III study (STEADFAST) on Actimmune for the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia was completed this month. Data is anticipated by the end of 2016. Positive results from the study would allow the company to file a supplemental biologics license application in the first quarter of 2017.

Actimmune is also being evaluated in combination with a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s BMY Opdivo, in a investigator-initiated phase I study for the treatment of both kidney and bladder cancer.

Meanwhile, the company expects to submit a supplemental new drug application to the FDA for Ravicti for the treatment of urea cycle disorders in children aged two months to two years in the current quarter.

Our Take

Horizon Pharma missed both top-and bottom-line estimates in the first quarter. Nevertheless, the performance of the company’s’ business units was impressive during the quarter. The company is working on label expansion of Actimmune and Ravicti, which is encouraging. Horizon Pharma has been actively pursuing acquisitions to expand and diversify its portfolio and, following management’s hints, we could see some merger & acquisition activities at the company.

Horizon Pharma is currently a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock. A couple of better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ANIP and Retrophin, Inc. RTRX, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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