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Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) Q4 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. SAGE reported adjusted loss of 55 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2023, comprehensively beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $1.18. The company reported a loss of $2.47 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues in the quarter totaled $78 million, significantly up on a year-over-year basis. The figure also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $71 million. The year-over-year surge in revenues can be attributed to the milestone payment from Biogen BIIB, owing to the first commercial sale of Zurzuvae (zuranolone).

Quarter in Detail

Revenues in the reported quarter, comprised product revenues, license and milestone revenue from related party and collaboration revenue.

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Product revenues came in at $2 million recorded from the company’s first marketed drug, Zulresso (brexanolone), approved by the FDA in 2019 as the first-ever FDA-approved treatment for adults with postpartum depression (“PPD”). Zulresso sales declined 31% year-over-year.

Collaboration revenue from sale of the newly launched PPD drug, Zurzuvae was $0.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2023. Zurzuvae is the first and only oral treatment indicated for adults with PPD.

Zurzuvae was approved for PPD in August 2023 and launched in mid-December 2023. Sage along with partner Biogen equally share profits and losses for the commercialization of Zurzuvae in the United States, while, in ex-U.S. markets, Biogen records product sales (excluding Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea) and pays royalties to Sage.

License and milestone revenues were $75 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, which was received from BIIB upon the first commercial sale of Zurzuvae.

Sage and Biogen remain focused to establish Zurzuvae as a first line therapy and standard of care for women with PPD.

Research & development (R&D) expenses were $64.3 million, down 28% from the year-ago quarter’s levels. The decrease was due to cost savings measures including reduced headcount and expenditures and reprioritization of early-stage pipeline programs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) declined 18.1% from the prior-year quarter’s figure to $55.1 million. This decrease can be attributed to reduced headcount and budgeted expenditures.

The company had $753 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of Dec 31, 2023, compared with $876 million on Sep 30, 2023. This cash balance, combined with expected funding from collaboration revenues, is expected to support the company’s operations into 2026.

Shares of Sage were up 11.9% on Feb 14 following the announcement of the better-than-expected earnings result.

The stock has plunged 42.9% in the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 8.4%.

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Zacks Investment Research

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Full-Year Results

For 2023, Sage generated revenues of $86.5 million, significantly up year over year.

For the same period, the company reported adjusted loss of $9.05 per share up 0.8% on yearly basis.

Pipeline Updates

Sage currently focuses on developing its lead neuropsychiatric and neurology programs, dalzanemdor (SAGE-718) and SAGE-324, respectively. As part of the reorganization plan (implemented in August 2023), it has paused all early-stage pipeline programs with the intention of making evidence-driven investments.

Lead neuropsychiatric candidate, dalzanemdor, is being evaluated as a potential treatment for patients with cognition dysfunction associated with Huntington’s disease (“HD”) across three ongoing clinical studies — two phase II studies (DIMENSION and SURVEYOR) and a phase III study (PURVIEW). Dalzanemdor is also being evaluated in the phase II PRECEDENT study for treating cognitive issues associated with Parkinson’s disease (“PD”). The phase II LIGHTWAVE study is evaluating dalzanemdor for treating cognitive issues associated with Alzheimer’s disease (“AD”). Top-line data readouts from these studies are expected in the ongoing year.

Sage is also evaluating SAGE-324 in the mid-stage KINETIC 2 study as a potential treatment for patients with essential tremors. The top-line data from the KINETIC 2 study is expected in mid-2024.

Zurzuvae and SAGE-324 are being developed by Sage in partnership with Biogen. Per the terms of the deal signed in 2020, Sage and Biogen will jointly commercialize drugs in the United States. At the same time, Biogen has the sole rights to market in ex-U.S. territories (except for Zurzuvae in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, where Shionogi holds the rights).

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Sage Therapeutics, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Sage Therapeutics, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Sage Therapeutics, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Sage currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector are Stoke Therapeutics, Inc. STOK and Puma Biotechnology, Inc. PBYI, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

In the past 60 days, estimates for Stoke Therapeutics’ 2024 loss per share have narrowed from $2.50 to $2.28. In the past year, shares of STOK have plunged 42.6%.

Earnings of Stoke Therapeutics beat estimates in three of the last four quarters while missing the same on the remaining occasion. STOK delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 10.81%.

In the past 60 days, estimates for Puma Biotechnology’s 2024 earnings per share have improved from 64 cents to 69 cents. In the past year, shares of PBYI have risen 77.5%.

Earnings of Puma Biotechnology beat estimates in three of the last four quarters while missing the same on the remaining occasion. PBYI delivered a four-quarter average earnings surprise of 76.55%.

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Stoke Therapeutics, Inc. (STOK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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