Exelixis' Q4 Loss Widens as Investors Await Key Trial Data

Exelixis reports a wider fourth-quarter loss on higher R&D and SG&A expenses, but also points towards a number of key trial events in 2014.

Feb 20, 2014 at 5:28PM

Cancer-focused biopharmaceutical company Exelixis (NASDAQ:EXEL) reported its fourth-quarter earnings results after the bell tonight, delivering lower revenue and a wider loss than in the year-ago period.

For the quarter, Exelixis reported net product revenue from the sale of Cometriq, its only FDA-approved product to treat metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, of $4.3 million. By comparison, Exelixis reported no product revenue during this quarter last year. However, license and contracting revenue fell to $0 in the fourth-quarter of 2013 compared to $7.8 million during the fourth-quarter of 2012 stemming from amortized collaboration revenue with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), which has now been fully recognized.

Net loss for the quarter widened 35%, to $70.7 million from $52.2 million in the year-ago quarter, or to $0.38 from $0.28 per share. The wider loss was due to higher research and development expenses, which totaled $49.6 million during the quarter compared to $32.5 million in the comparable period last year, and a 39% increase in selling, general, and administrative expenses to $13.6 million. The company's sales force in the U.S. and EU was expanded in accordance with Cometriq's approval.

Since cash burn is an important aspect of any non-profitable biopharma company, Exelixis ended the year with $415.9 million in cash compared to $634 million at the end of 2012. It did, however, secure an additional $75.6 million in net proceeds after issuing 10 million shares of common stock in January, which is not included in the year-end cash figures.

As its press release notes, the company anticipates reporting top-line data from four ongoing pivotal trials this year, including its late-stage metastatic renal cancer (kidney cancer) and advanced hepatocellular cancer (liver cancer) trials involving Cometriq.

Looking ahead, Exelixis chose not to provide full-year sales guidance for Cometriq in 2014, and does not anticipate recording any significant contract and licensing revenue. Including non-cash expenses, Exelixis estimates its full-year costs and expenses will total $250 million-$280 million, with cash and cash equivalents ending fiscal 2014 at greater than $200 million.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool owns shares of, and recommends Exelixis. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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