BioMarin Earnings: An Early Look

Earnings season is now starting to wind down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: BMRN  ) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarter reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed kneejerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

BioMarin focuses on orphan drugs, which treat rare conditions and are therefore eligible for special treatment from the FDA, and investors have been piling into the stock recently. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with BioMarin over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Thursday.

Stats on BioMarin

Analyst EPS Estimate

($0.27)

Year-Ago EPS

($0.23)

Revenue Estimate

$129.6 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

20%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

1

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will BioMarin make investors feel better?
Analysts haven't been sure what to make of BioMarin in recent months. They've held their consensus earnings estimates steady for the just-end quarter, but they now expect a bigger loss for full-year 2013, with consensus figures worsening by $0.27 per share. Yet shareholders haven't suffered, as the stock has risen 18% just since mid-November.

BioMarin has several treatments on the market, although all of them treat fairly obscure diseases. Its best-selling drug is Naglazyme, which treats a genetic deficiency called MPS VI, and other treatments target phenylketonuria, MPS I, and Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome. With all of these drugs having relatively small target patient populations, competition hasn't been a serious threat.

In fact, one piece of big news from BioMarin recently was that it bought out Zacharon Pharmaceuticals for $10 million. Zacharon, which had collaborated with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) to produce MPS orphan drugs, could potentially have been a competitive threat. With Sanofi's (NYSE: SNY  ) Genzyme unit handling commercialization of BioMarin's MPS I treatment Aldurazyme, it'll be interesting to see how the market and development of Zacharon's pipeline drugs gets handled in the future.

The other major catalyst during the quarter came in November, when BioMarin announced positive phase 3 trial results from its GALNS drug to treat MPS IVA, also known as Morquio A syndrome. For BioMarin, any new drug that broadens its treatment base is a positive for future growth.

In BioMarin's quarterly report, look for signs from management about its future strategic direction. On one hand, further acquisitions could help BioMarin grow, as Fool pharma expert Brian Orelli recently noted that Protalix BioTherapeutics (NYSEMKT: PLX  ) would make a good fit for the company. On the other hand, with Elan (UNKNOWN: ELN.DL2  ) having gotten a ton of cash from selling out its interest in Tysabri, BioMarin could find itself as a buyout candidate rather than an acquirer.

While you can certainly make huge gains in biotech and pharmaceuticals, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

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