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Baxalta (BXLT) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Set to Merge with Shire

Baxalta Incorporated BXLT, which started trading on the NYSE from Jul 1, 2015, reported its fourth earnings results post spin-off from Baxter International Inc. BAX. Baxalta generated first-quarter 2016 earnings of 47 cents per share, a penny above the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Worldwide pro forma sales came in at $1.55 billion, up 10% year over year including the impact of foreign currency. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, sales increased 14% year over year.

While U.S. revenues grew 16% to $879 million, international sales too increased 3% year over year to $669 million including the impact of foreign currency. Excluding the impact of foreign currency, international sales increased 11% year over year.

The Quarter in Detail

The Hematology segment recorded sales of $843 million, up 8% year over year excluding the impact of foreign currency, driven by hemophilia products. Growth was fueled by the launch of Adynovate (hemophilia A), which gained FDA approval in Nov 2015 as well as strong global demand for Advate and Feiba. Rixubis and Obizur also contributed to growth.

Immunology sales climbed 13% year over year excluding the impact of foreign currency to $653 million, reflecting strong demand for immunoglobulin therapies including HyQvia and strong sales of specialty biotherapeutics.

The Oncology segment recorded sales of $52 million in the reported quarter, reflecting the acquisition (Jul 2015) of Oncaspar (pegaspargase), a marketed biologic treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We note that Baxalta started reporting revenues under the Oncology segment beginning the third quarter of 2015.

The company did not provide any updated guidance for 2016 considering that it is set to merge with Shire plc SHPG in a deal worth approximately $32 billion.

A special meeting of stockholders to adopt the merger agreement with Shire will be held on May 27. The transaction is expected to close shortly after the special meeting, assuming stockholder approval is received by both companies.

Our Take

Baxalta’s first-quarter 2016 results were better than expected with the company beating on bottom-line estimates. Revenues also grew year over year. Meanwhile, Baxalta continues to progress with its pipeline. We believe that investor focus will remain on updates from the Shire transaction.

Baxalta is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK is a better-ranked stock in the health care sector carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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