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What's Up at GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) in Q2 Earnings?

GW Pharmaceuticals plc  GWPH is scheduled to report second-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 5. Last quarter, the company had posted a positive surprise of 34.78%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors at Play

GW Pharma’s
GW Pharma’s

GW Pharma’s key growth driver, Sativex, is approved outside the U.S. for the treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. The company is also evaluating Sativex in a phase II study for the treatment of spasticity due to cerebral palsy in children aged 8 to 18 years. Data from the study is anticipated in the second half of the year.

GW Pharma’s pipeline includes interesting candidates like cannabidiol-based drug, Epidiolex. The key highlight of the quarter was the positive data reported by the company (Mar 2015) from the first pivotal phase III study on Epidiolex for the treatment of patients suffering from Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex met the primary efficacy endpoint of the study. Backed by favorable phase III study results, the company plans to request a pre-new drug application meeting with the FDA to determine the regulatory path forward for Epidiolex.

Meanwhile, GW Pharma is also conducting a second phase III study on Epidiolex for Dravet syndrome, which is enrolling 150 patients. Moreover, the company is conducting a global pivotal development program on Epidiolex for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

In Apr 2016, the company also initiated a phase III study on Epidiolex for the treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex. The company also received an orphan drug status from the FDA for this indication.

Apart from pipeline updates, investor focus is expected to remain on the guidance which the company is expected to provide with its second-quarter results as well as plans for the second half of the year.

Surprise History

GW Pharma’s track record has been pretty good with the company reporting narrower-than-expected losses in three of the trailing four quarters. Overall, the company has delivered a positive surprise of 25.74%.

What Our Model Indicates

Our proven model does not conclusively show that GW Pharma is likely to beat estimates this quarter. That 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 likely post a beat. But 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%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at a loss of $1.71.

Zacks Rank: GW Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3. Although the company’s Zacks Rank #3 enhances the predictive power of the ESP, its 0.00% ESP makes a surprise prediction difficult.

Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

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

The Earnings ESP for Zoetis Inc. ZTS is +2.44% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 4.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc JAZZ has an Earnings ESP of +6.11% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 10.

The Earnings ESP for Impax Laboratories Inc. IPXL is +8.89% and it carries a Zacks Rank #3. The company is scheduled to release first-quarter results on May 10.

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JAZZ PHARMACEUT (JAZZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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GW PHARMA-ADR (GWPH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ZOETIS INC (ZTS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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