With many investors on the edge of their seats as earnings season kicks into high gear, we're going to focus on four earnings reports you can't afford to miss this upcoming week, as well as one under-the-radar FDA ruling you can expect early in the week.
Approaching this in reverse, Impax Laboratories (NASDAQ: IPXL ) will start us off with a ruling expected from the FDA by Monday on Rytary (formerly IPX066) for the treatment of idiopathic Parkinson's disease. In the late-stage trials, Rytary met its primary and secondary endpoints, while providing marked improvement in reducing Parkinson's symptoms relative to placebo, with a similar safety profile to the placebo. Impax partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) on Rytary in December 2010, receiving $11.5 million upfront and giving the company access to an additional $175 million in milestone payments. Glaxo, in turn, gets the rights to Rytary outside the U.S. and in Taiwan. If I had to venture a guess, in spite of the three-month PDUFA delay Impax shareholders have already dealt with, I'd bet on an approval.
On the earnings front, we have big news headed our way from conglomerate Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) , medical-device maker Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ: ISRG ) , and health-benefits provider WellPoint (NYSE: WLP ) .
For Big Pharma name and medical-device maker Johnson & Johnson, I'm not too focused on its results this quarter so much as what its guidance might entail. In just the past two months, J&J has received FDA approval for Sirturo, a revolutionary multidrug resistant tuberculosis treatment that dramatically outperformed the placebo in trials, received a favorable vote from the FDA panel by a sum of 10-5 for diabetes drug Invokana, and filed to expand the indicated uses of Stelara beyond just psoriasis on the heels of strong phase 3 data. Tack on J&J's recent purchase and closing of Synthes, an orthopedics company geared for growth in emerging markets, and I think you have a recipe for a very optimistic forecast. J&J is set to report on Tuesday.
Intuitive Surgical's report is always one I look forward to, but it has particular importance following insinuations from Citron Research that Intuitive's premium isn't deserved. I've proposed for a long time that Intuitive's first-in-class position will allow it to maintain high price points on its da Vinci surgical systems for years to come, as well as grow its procedure volume in excess of 20% per year. Investors should really focus in on anything Intuitive has to say with regard to procedure growth, as well as note if it there's any pricing pressure on its very expensive da Vinci surgical systems. One final note: Intuitive has trounced Wall Street's EPS estimates in 14 straight quarters! Look for this report on Tuesday as well.
Finally, health-benefits provider WellPoint's guidance should give us better insight on how prepared it is to welcome some of the 16 million soon-to-be-covered people under the Medicaid expansion mandated by the Affordable Care Act. WellPoint ponied up $4.5 billion to purchase Amerigroup to get its hands on government-sponsored health-care patients, and this quarter should allow investors a glimpse of what sort of effect that'll have on margins and bottom-line profits. If I had to venture a guess, I'd anticipate a cautious outlook. Then again, given how cheap WellPoint is relative to book value and forward earnings, I think it's a chance worth taking. WellPoint will report on Wednesday.
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