Why Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc. Shares Spiked Higher

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 Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TTPH  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat multi-drug-resistant infections, spiked higher by as much as 13% after reporting its third-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, Tetraphase reported a 14.6% decline in revenue to $2.2 million from the year-ago period as its net loss more than tripled to $10.1 million from just $3.1 million in the prior year. Due to the company recently going public, however, Tetraphase's net loss dipped to $0.49 per share from $9.63 per share in the previous year. By comparison, Wall Street had been expecting a narrower loss of just $0.42 per share. The real excitement here is that the company announced its quarterly highlights which included the first phase 3 dosing of lead drug candidate eravacycline for the treatment of intra-abdominal infections, and confirmed a second phase 3 trial involving eravacycline in an IV-to-oral step-down as a treatment of complicated urinary tract infection.

Now what: This has been a theme this year in the biotech sector -- pumping up recently IPO'd biotechs after they announce the first dosing of a mid- or late-stage trial. While I'm not saying that shareholders shouldn't be excited about eravacycline's potential, I am suggesting that it might be best to wait for the top-line data before betting significantly on Tetraphase's future. You could potentially miss out on a big pop this way, but you'll set yourself up for potentially safer long-term returns.

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