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Drug Stocks Reporting Earnings on May 17: AXON & FWP

Quite a few beats and some misses. That’s how the first-quarter scorecard cycle looks like as the earnings season nears its end for 10 of the 16 Zacks sectors.

As per our Earnings Trend report, 459 S&P 500 members have reported quarterly so far, of which 71% topped earnings estimates and 55.3% surpassed revenue expectations, resulting in a blended beat of 71%. This may be attributed to already lowered analyst expectations since the start of the earnings cycle. The recent decline in the U.S. dollar could have also aided matters. However, this is likely to be the fourth consecutive quarter of an earnings decline for the S&P 500 index.

Prospects appeared bleak for the medical sector at the onset of the earnings season given that the biotech sector was dealt a severe blow by Hilary Clinton’s tweet on price gouging in the second half of 2015. Nevertheless, the sector has managed to post a blended beat of 64.7% (a combination of revenue and earnings beats) in the first quarter so far, having successfully countered headwinds like currency rates, biosimilars and generic competition.

While bigwigs like Johnson & Johnson JNJ and Abbott Laboratories ABT topped estimates, some like Novartis NVS disappointed expectations. Pfizer, Inc. PFE also surpassed expectations. Meanwhile, results at the biotech sector have been mixed, with Amgen AMGN and AbbVie ABBV topping expectations, but Gilead Sciences (GILD) missing the same.

A few companies are yet to report results. Let’s take a peek at a couple of drug stocks that will report quarterly results on May 17:

Axovant Sciences Ltd. AXON is a development-stage company. As a result, investor focus is expected to remain on the company’s pipeline candidate, RVT-101, which is being developed for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. The company has a mixed track record so far. However, our proven model shows that Axovant is likely to beat earnings this quarter as it has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of +69.60%.

Forward Pharma A/S FWP is a Danish biopharmaceutical company currently focused on developing its pipeline candidate FP187, a proprietary formulation of dimethyl fumarate, for the treatment of inflammatory and neurological indications. The company has a dismal track record so far. For the first quarter too, this Zacks Rank #3 company has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, which makes a surprise prediction difficult.

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