Why Intermune Shares Surged

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 13% today after its quarterly results and outlook topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has soared over the past year on strong global penetration by its franchise lung disease drug Esbriet, and today's second-quarter revenue -- $14.4 million versus the consensus of about $12 million -- coupled with upbeat full-year guidance only reinforces that trend. Of course, there is also a belief among some analysts that Esbriet's long-term acceptance still depends on its approval in the U.S. -- it was initially rejected by the FDA in 2010 -- so Fools shouldn't get too worked up over today's news.

Now what: Management now sees full-year Esbriet revenue in the range of $55 million-$70 million, up nicely from its prior view of $40 million-$55 million. "Having recently secured attractive pricing and reimbursement in Italy, England and Ireland, Esbriet is now priced and reimbursed in 13 of our original 15 top-priority European countries," Chairman and CEO Dan Welch said, "a solid achievement when considering the challenging economic conditions in the EU." Of course, with the U.S. Phase 3 ASCEND study of Esbriet scheduled for the second quarter of 2014, I wouldn't rush to get involved just yet.

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