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Why Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shares Jumped

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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 Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SCMP  ) , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies utilizing prostones and other novel technologies, jumped as much as 19% after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings results after the bell last night.

So what: For the quarter, Sucampo reported a 30% decline in total revenue to $24.5 million, which it noted was due to the receipt of a $15 million milestone payment associated with the launch of long-term constipation treatment Amitiza in Japan last year. Excluding this milestone payment, organic revenue gained 23%, aided most by a 215% improvement in Amitiza sales in Japan. More importantly, Sucampo reported a GAAP profit of $0.05 per share, which was considerably better than the $0.02 loss per share that Wall Street expected.

Now what: Based on this quarterly report, it looks as if Amitiza sales are really beginning to take off around the world. As long as Sucampo can control its expenses, it should be able to simply coast into profits since its partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals is handling all of the marketing aspects in the United States. With easy double-digit top-line growth potential and a minuscule forward P/E of just 15 following today's romp higher, I'd suggest that there could still be additional upside in shares of Sucampo.

Sucampo shares may be soaring today, but they'll probably have a difficult time keeping up with this top stock in 2014
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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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