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Endocyte (ECYT): What Awaits the Stock in Q1 Earnings?

Endocyte, Inc. ECYT is slated to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 4.

Endocyte has a mixed track record. The company has beaten estimates in three of the last four quarters, with a positive average earnings surprise of 8.57%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors Influencing This Quarter

Being a development-stage biotech company, Endocyte does not have any approved product in its portfolio. In this scenario, investors are expected to keep an eye on pipeline development at the company.

Endocyte’s pipeline includes vintafolide (non-small cell lung cancer/NSCLC), EC1456 (advanced solid tumors) and EC1169 (recurrent prostate cancer).

A phase I dose-escalation study on EC1456 is currently underway. The company is considering two schedules for the candidate. With the determination of the maximum-tolerated dose, the company will evaluate these schedules in up to 40 second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients selected by EC20 imaging with all FR-positive disease. It expects single-agent efficacy data in NSCLC by 2016-end. Once the optimal schedule is determined, cohorts with new indications and combinations with other drugs may be initiated in preparation for randomized trials for triple-negative breast and ovarian cancers among others.

Meanwhile, after determining the maximum tolerated dose of EC1169 (currently in a dose-escalation trial with a once weekly schedule), the candidate will be evaluated as a single-agent therapy in advanced prostate cancer patients previously treated with hormone therapy. Endocyte expects single-agent efficacy data in prostate cancer in late 2016 or 2017. Patient enrolment is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2016.

The expansion phase of the trials will initially focus on EC1456 in NSCLC patients followed by EC1169 for prostate cancer.

Consequently, the company expects spending to be higher in the second half of 2016 as the trials for EC1456 and EC1169 are expanded once their maximum-tolerated doses have been determined. We expect Endocyte to shed some light on its progress on these studies during its first-quarter call.

What Our Model Indicates

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Endocyte is likely to beat estimates 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 beat estimates. That is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is 0.00%, since the Most Accurate estimate is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 26 cents.

Zacks Rank: Endocyte’s Zacks Rank #2 increases the predictive power of ESP. However, the company’s 0.00% ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with Zacks Ranks #4 or #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing a negative estimate revision momentum.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

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

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc JAZZ has an Earnings ESP of +4.58% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter results on May 10.

Impax Laboratories Inc. IPXL has an Earnings ESP of +8.89% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter results on May 10.

Intrexon Corporation XON has an Earnings ESP of +17.39% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is expected to release first-quarter results on May 10.

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