Today's Top Biotech Stories: Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, and Medivation

Today's top stories in healthcare and biotech.

Feb 28, 2014 at 9:13AM

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.

Let's take a look at the top stories in biotech and health care this morning -- keep an eye out for Ampio Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:AMPE), Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AUXL), Bayer AG (NASDAQOTH:BAYRY) and Medivation, (NASDAQ:MDVN)

Ampio raises cash
Per usual with developmental biotechs, Ampio Pharmaceuticals is raising money today via a secondary offering, causing shares to fall close to 5% in premarket trading. According to the press release, Ampio will sell 8,500,000 shares of its common stock to the public at $7.00 per share, raising $59.5 million for the company in gross proceeds. What's notable about this offering is that it comes at a 13% discount relative to yesterday's closing price. 
Ampio said it will use the proceeds from the sale for working capital, general corporate purposes, and the completion of the Ampion and Optina clinical trials.

Is this raise cause for concern? If you are a regular investor in development biotechs, then you are probably well aware that this is business as usual for companies at this stage in their life cycle. If this is your first developmental biotech investment, welcome aboard!

Auxilium beats on earnings estimates
Shares of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals are up in pre-market trading this morning after the company beat Wall Street's estimates for both fourth quarter earnings per share and revenue. Specifically, earnings per share beat estimates by $0.05 at $0.27, and fourth quarter revenue came in at $125 million, beating estimates by a notable 12%. Total 2013 revenues came in at $400.7 million, a 32% increase year over year. 

Most of this beat can be attributed to the company's newly approved Peyronie's disease drug Xiaflex, with revenues coming in at $19.7 million for the quarter. Looking ahead, Auxilium expects 2014 to be a banner year, as revenues are projected to grow between 18% to 22% for the year. So, you may want to keep tabs on this growth story moving forward. 

Bayer misses on revenue estimates
Increasing R&D expenses combined with instability in the EURO this year put a damper on revenues at biopharma giant Bayer today. The company's adjusted Q4 EBITDA came in at €1.77 billion and sales increased by 0.3% to a record high of €9.89 billion  due to increasing sales of its top five drugs, Xarelto, Adempas, Stivarga, Xofigo, and Eylea. Bayer expects revenues to grow by about 0.50% to 1% in 2014, although this estimate does not factor in potential sales from their purchase of Dihon Pharmaceutical Group 

Medivation's Xtandi disappoints
Shares of Medivation are down more than 12% in pre-market trading this morning following disappointing guidance for the company's prostate cancer drug Xtandi, coupled to a handful of analyst downgrades.

U.S. net sales of Xtandi were $126.1 million in the fourth quarter and $392.4 million for the full year 2013. While many drugs would be viewed as a smashing success with such numbers, the problem is that Xtandi was expected to come in closer to $400 million, on its way into the $1 to $2 billion range in terms of peak sales. Put simply, Xtandi is not currently on track to live up to those prior expectations, at least according to Medivation's 2014 guidance.

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