Why InterMune Shares Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of biotechnology company InterMune (Nasdaq: ITMN  ) surged 19% today after its quarterly results topped Wall Street estimates.

So what: InterMune shares have been crushed over the past year on persistent launch failures of its anti-lung-scarring drug Esbriet, but a strong third quarter -- per-share loss of $0.70 on revenue of $7.5 million versus the consensus loss of $0.84 and revenue of $6.2 million -- suggests that the drug is finally gaining some traction. Wall Street has been waiting for a sign that management can actually market Esbriet successfully in Europe, so the upbeat report is prompting analysts to model higher adoption rates going forward.  

Now what: Management now expects full-year Esbriet revenue of $20 million-$25 million and total revenue at the high end of the range, versus Wall Street's total revenue estimate of $27 million.

"With continued successful completion of the pricing and reimbursement processes and Esbriet launches throughout Europe over the coming months, along with the planned launch of Esbriet in Canada on January 1, 2013, we have begun a period of sustained annual sales growth," said Chairman and CEO Dan Welch.

With the stock still off more than 50% from its 52-week highs, biotech-savvy investors might even have plenty of room to benefit from that growth.

Interested in more info on InterMune? Add it to your watchlist.


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