Why Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc Shares Popped

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 Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: SUPN  ) , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat central nervous system disorders, advanced as much as 18% after the company reported second-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, Supernus delivered net revenue of $281,000, comprised of $154,000 in sales of extended-release epilepsy drug Oxtellar XR, and $127,000 in licensing revenue. Research and development costs declined by 26% from the year-ago period with its mid-stage trial of SPN-810 being completed during the second-quarter last year, but general and administrative expenses ballooned to $12.2 million from $4.6 million on the launch of Oxtellar XR and the expected launch in the upcoming quarter of another epilepsy drug, Trokendi XR. Despite the hefty adjusted quarterly loss of $0.57 per share, this was still $0.08 narrower than the Street had anticipated. Furthermore, Supernus' cash burn rate remains unchanged at $85 million to $95 million in 2013 and the company believes it has enough cash to fund operations through next year.

Now what: It's a rare day when earnings matter to primarily clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies, but when that company mentions that it expects to be at least breakeven on cash flow by the end of 2014, investors notice. As of now I'm not particularly enthralled with Supernus as a company, given just $154,000 in products sales and a huge cash burn rate. Things could certainly change once Trokendi XR is launched, but I'd rather wait for concrete results rather than just assume everything during this launch will go as planned.

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