How Alexion Pharmaceuticals Knocked It Out of the Park in Q1

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When Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) released its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday, it said that it had $1.68 in earnings per share (EPS) on $930.9 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $1.50 in EPS on revenue of $922.99 million. In the same period of last year, the pharmaceutical giant posted EPS of $1.38 and $870 million in revenue.

Alexion also announced positive topline results of a Phase 3 study of ALXN1210, which showed that patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) can be effectively and safely switched from treatment with Soliris every two weeks to treatment with ALXN1210 every eight weeks. The study demonstrated non-inferiority of ALXN1210 to Soliris in patients with PNH who had been stable on Soliris. The study demonstrated non-inferiority on all four key secondary endpoints.

In terms of its segments, for the quarter the firm reported as follows:

  • Soliris (eculizumab) net product sales were $800.1 million, compared to $783.5 million in the first quarter of 2017, representing a 2% increase.
  • Strensiq (asfotase alfa) net product sales were $110.7 million, compared to $73.6 million in the first quarter of 2017, representing a 50% increase.
  • Kanuma (sebelipase alfa) net product sales were $19.6 million, compared to $12.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, representing a 63% increase.

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see total revenues in the range of $3.925 billion to $3.985 billion with EPS of $6.75 to $6.90. The consensus estimates call for $6.86 in EPS on $3.98 billion in revenue for the year.

Ludwig Hantson, CEO of Alexion, commented:

In the first quarter of 2018 we had strong momentum in our complement and metabolic portfolios. We continue to see robust underlying growth of Soliris and I am particularly pleased with the U.S. launch in patients with gMG. In addition, Strensiq remains a key driver of growth as we continue to serve new patients with HPP. Along with growing our in-line business, we announced positive topline results from both the ALXN1210 Phase 3 PNH Naive and Switch studies, and executed on our disciplined business development plan with the anticipated acquisition of Wilson Therapeutics to begin to rebuild the clinical pipeline. We are delivering on our 2018 objectives to drive sustainable long-term growth and I look forward to providing updates on our progress throughout the year.

Shares of Alexion were last seen up about 9% at $115.39, with a consensus analyst price target of $158.60 and a 52-week range of $96.18 to $149.34.

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