Celgene Stock Earnings: Firing on All Cylinders

Celgene (Nasdaq: CELG  ) looks to be firing on all cylinders these days. The company released its third quarter results on Thursday with plenty of good news.

Revenue for the quarter was more than $1.4 billion, up 14% compared to the same quarter last year. Celgene reported GAAP earnings per share of $0.97, an increase of 20% year-on-year. Adjusting for special items, earnings per share came in at $1.29, beating the consensus analyst estimate of $1.27.

The biotech also raised its 2012 earnings guidance to $4.85 to $4.90 per share from the prior range of $4.80 to $4.85. Celgene tightened its revenue guidance to $5.45 billion-$5.55 billion from $5.4 billion-$5.6 billion.

Under the hood
Diving deeper into the results, nearly every area looks to be in good shape. Sales in the U.S. grew 11% from last year to $775 million. International sales jumped 19% year-on-year to $613 million.

Revlimid, the company's drug used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, continued to perform well. Third-quarter sales increased by 18% compared to 2011 and accounted for nearly 70% of total sales.

Celgene also saw solid results from Vidaza. Sales for the drug reached $220 million for the quarter, up 15% from last year. 

The only weak spots were with Abraxane and Thalomid. Abraxane sales fell by 6% year-on-year to $106 million. Thalomid sales dropped by 10% to $75 million. There were positive signs for Abraxane, though. International sales increased 29% during the third quarter.

Revving the engine
Celgene's pipeline progress also provides investors with reasons to cheer. The company has more than 25 late-stage clinical studies under way. Revlimid is the focus of several phase 3 trials involving multiple conditions.

Abraxane phase 3 studies targeting metastatic melanoma and pancreatic cancer are also in progress. Celgene just announced positive results from one of those studies, with significant improvement in progression-free survival for metastatic melanoma patients taking Abraxane.

Another phase 3 study targets use of apremilast in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. The company also has multiple early and mid-stage clinical trials in progress.

Off to the races
Celgene expects Abraxane to gain more revenue as the drug is used for further indications. The Food and Drug Administration approved Abraxane for first-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer a few weeks ago. The drug will compete against Pfizer's (NYSE: PFE  ) Xalkori. Xalkori is a rising star, with study results showing improvement over Alimta from Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY  ) and docetaxel from Sanofi  (NYSE: SNY  ) .

The company should be in position to submit an NDA in the not-too-distant future for use of Abraxane in treating metastatic melanoma. FDA approval would result in Celgene competing against Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY  ) Yervoy.

With solid quarterly results and a promising pipeline, Celgene looks to be in better shape than many biotech companies. The stock's valuation is also attractive with a forward P/E of 13. This one could be ready to race upward.

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  • Report this Comment On October 27, 2012, at 8:46 AM, drmakeyouwell wrote:

    good article but wrong on the abraxane competing with xalkori bit-there are different markets that only overlap a little for these 2 drugs as xalkori is approved for ALK+ lung cancers and abraxane for all lung cancers. if the cancer is ALK+ we will use xalkori upfront, never abraxane upfront.

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