By Cody Miecnikowski
On Tuesday, August 4, before market open, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) reported its second-quarter 2015 financial results that beat both top and bottom line expectations. The biotech giant, which recently won approval for its cholesterol drug, Praluent, said its profit doubled in its second quarter as sales of Eylea, its eye-disease treatment, surged.
Specifically, the company’s revenue jumped 50% year-over-year to $998.6 million, crushing estimates of $887.8 million. Non-GAAP EPS clocked in at $2.89, also ahead of analyst estimates of $2.77. However, the key focus of the report was sales of Regeneron’s blockbuster eye drug, Eylea. The company produced incredibly strong sales in that respect, posting a 50% year-over-year increase to $933 million. Subsequently, Regeneron raised the full-year 2015 sales forecast for its flagship product from the range of 30% and 35% growth to between 45% and 50% growth compared to 2014.
The company did not provide a forecast for its new cholesterol drug, Praluent, which was developed in partnership with French drugmaker Sanofi. Yet, analysts expect Praluent, approved on July 24, to be the next focus for investors. Specifically, Wall Street expects the drug to hit peak annual sales of more than $5 billion. Regeneron warned that Praluent sales may rise only gradually cautioning, “for next several months, performance cannot be judged upon reported sales.”
As evident from the data above, the earnings report released by Regeneron proved to be incredibly positive. Shares snapped higher in response, increasing 5.55% to $585.02 in the premarket alone. Moreover, the company’s shares rose to a record $605.93 in trading on August 4, aiding in its 41% increase year-to-date.
Nevertheless, some Wall Street analysts have expressed neutral sentiments on Regeneron shares.
In a research report issued on August 4, J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov reiterated a Hold rating on shares of Regeneron though he did not provide a price target. Kasimov commented, “This morning REGN printed another top- and bottom-line beat. In particular, Eylea boasted an impressive quarter with $655M in US sales (+21% Q/Q, +58% Y/Y), which prompted another bump to 2015 revenue guidance.” Furthermore, “Regeneron tweaked several other guidance line items that should help bottom-line performance for the full year.” Kasimov concludes, “There were incremental pipeline updates in the press release, most notably that the dupilumab Phase 3 trial for in atopic dermatitis has now been fully enrolled.”
Cory Kasimov has rated Regeneron a total of 11 times since February 2014. He has only recommended neutral ratings, earning himself a 0% success rate recommending the stock and a 0% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. Overall, he has a 59% success rate recommending stocks and a 13.2% average return per recommendation.
Separately in a research note issued on August 4, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff reiterated a Hold rating on Regeneron while setting a price target of $607. The analyst has rated Regeneron a total of 9 times since July 2010, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +104.8% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.
Out of 14 analysts polled by TipRanks, 10 analysts are bullish on Regeneron and 4 are neutral. The average 12-month price target for Regeneron is $574.38, marking a (-1.13%) potential downside from where stock is currently trading. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Regeneron is a Moderate Buy.