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Drug Stocks' Earnings Slated for This Week: RDY, AVXS, ESALY

As the Q1 earnings season draws to a close, the majority of the S&P 500 companies have already released results. As a result, the overall earnings picture is becoming increasingly clear, except for the Retail sector, in which a sizable number of companies are still yet to report results. The Q1 earnings scorecard must have lifted investor spirit substantially given the impressive rate of positive earnings surprises, even though this is likely to be the fourth consecutive quarter of an earnings decline for the S&P 500 index. This may be attributed to already lowered investor expectations since the start of the earnings cycle. The recent decline in the U.S. dollar could have also aided matters. Going forward, although estimates for the second quarter are still witnessing downward revisions, the decline is not as severe due to the improved commodity-price backdrop. However, macroeconomic headwinds persist and growth remains a challenge for most companies.

Notably, the medical sector, one of the seven sectors poised for growth this season, has managed to post a blended beat of 65.3% (a combination of revenue and earnings beats) in the first quarter so far, having successfully countered headwinds like currency rates, biosimilars and generic competition. Johnson & Johnson JNJ kick-started the earnings season on an encouraging note, with quite a few following suit, although some like Novartis NVS, disappointed. Pfizer, Inc. PFE also surpassed expectations. Meanwhile, results for the biotech sector have been mixed so far with Amgen AMGN and AbbVie ABBV topping expectations, but bigwigs like Gilead Sciences GILD missing the same.

Nevertheless, quite a few companies are still yet to report results. Let’s take a peek at a few drug stocks that will report quarterly results later this week:

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories RDY is scheduled to report fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results on May 12. An integrated pharmaceutical company, Dr. Reddy’s offers a broad portfolio of products and services including APIs, custom pharmaceutical services, generics, biosimilars and differentiated formulations in the areas of gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular, diabetology, oncology, pain management and anti-infectives. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. Note that we caution against Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or #5) going into the earnings announcement.

AveXis, Inc. AVXS is scheduled to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 12. This clinical-stage gene therapy company primarily focuses on rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Since the company does not have any approved product in its portfolio yet, we expect investor focus to remain on its pipeline. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank#3 (Hold) and has an Earnings ESP of 0.00% which makes it difficult to predict an earnings beat for this quarter.

Eisai Co., Ltd. ESALY is expected to report fourth-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 13. Headquartered in Japan, this global pharmaceutical company focuses primarily on various therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including oncology and neuroscience. Eisai too has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, which makes it difficult to predict an earnings beat for this quarter.

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