Exelixis' Q4 Loss Widens as Investors Await Key Trial Data

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.


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