Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. ESPR incurred a loss per share of $1.05 per share for the second quarter of 2022, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 95 cents per share. The company reported a loss of $1.67 per share in the year-ago period.
Esperion generated revenues of $18.8 million, down 54% year over year. The year-ago quarter’s tally also included a one-time milestone payment received by ESPR from its collaboration partner. Revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $19.4 million.
Quarter in Detail
Esperion has two FDA-approved drugs — Nexletol and Nexlizet — in its commercial portfolio that are approved for treating elevated LDL-C (bad cholesterol). These two drugs are marketed as Nilemdo and Nustendi in Europe and several other ex-U.S. markets in partnership with Daiichi Sankyo. Esperion records royalty on sales of its drugs in Europe.
Product revenues, solely from the United States, were $13.6 million in the second quarter, up approximately 28% year over year. Product revenues were up 1.7% sequentially.
Esperion recorded royalty revenues of $1.5 million during the reported quarter, compared with $1.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Royalty revenues were driven by the commercial launch of Nilemdo and Nustendi in new countries and growth in previously-launched territories.
Research and development (R&D) expenses increased 29% from the year-ago period’s levels to $32.4 million due to an increase in costs for the ongoing CLEAR cardiovascular outcomes study (CVOT) being conducted by ESPR.
Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) were down 36% year over year to $29.6 million, reflecting the positive impact of its cost-savings programs as part of its transformational plan announced in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Overall, Esperion achieved year-over-year cost savings of 13.1% in operational expenses during the quarter.
As of Jun 30, 2022, Esperion had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and investment securities of $235.8 million compared with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $268.5 million as of Mar 31, 2022.
Esperion is evaluating bempedoic acid, a key ingredient of its drugs, for effects on the occurrence of major cardiovascular events in patients with or at high risk for cardiovascular disease and are ineligible for the lowest approved statin dose.
During the second quarter, Esperion achieved 100% of targeted major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE-4) accumulation in the CLEAR CVOT study. Achieving this target will likely help ESPR complete this study early. Top-line data from this study is expected in first-quarter 2023.
Shares of Esperion were up 7.7% on Aug 2, most likely based on the progress of its pipeline. In fact, Esperion’s stock has gained 17.4% so far this year against the industry’s 21.3% decline.
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Positive data from the CVOT study is likely to boost the potential of Esperion’s drugs as the targeted patient population represents a lucrative opportunity.
Esperion maintained its previous guidance for R&D and SG&A costs in 2022. The company expects R&D expense for 2022 to be in the range of $100-$110 million, while SG&A expense is expected to be between $120 million and $130 million.
Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. Price
Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. price | Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. Quote
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Esperion currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include Eli Lilly LLY, Jazz Pharmaceuticals JAZZ and Novavax NVAX. While Jazz Pharmaceuticals sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present, Eli Lilly and Novavax carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Estimates for Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ 2022 earnings have increased from $17.05 to $17.06 in the past 30 days. JAZZ’s earnings estimates for 2023 have increased from $18.05 to $18.15 in the past 30 days. Shares of Jazz Pharmaceuticals have risen 19.9% in the year-to-date period.
Earnings of Jazz Pharmaceuticalsbeat estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed the mark on one occasion, the average surprise being 12.81%. In the last reported quarter, JAZZ delivered a negative earnings surprise of 0.53%.
Eli Lilly’s stock has risen 15.9% this year so far. Eli Lilly’s earnings estimates for 2022 have gone up from $8.29 per share to $8.34 per share, while the consensus mark for 2023 has increased from $9.47 per share to $9.55 per share in the past 30 days.
Eli Lilly missed earnings estimates in three of the last four quarters while beating the mark on one occasion. Eli Lilly has a four-quarter earnings surprise of 2.26%, on average. In the last reported quarter, LLY reported a negative earnings surprise of 12.93%.
Novavax’s stock has plunged 59.8% this year so far. Novavax’s earnings estimates for 2023 have increased from $10.43 per share to $10.62 per share over the past 30 days.
Novavax missed earnings estimates in each of the last four quarters, delivering a negative earnings surprise of 184.49%, on average. In the last reported quarter, NVAX delivered a negative earnings surprise of 23.12%.
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