Growth in Acthar Gel Pushes Questcor's Profits Up by 84% in Q1

It was just business as usual for Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: QCOR.DL  ) which delivered another quarter of phenomenal revenue and profit growth to begin 2014.

For the first quarter, Questcor reported revenue of $227.1 million, a 68% increase from the year-ago period. It attributed its strong results to the expanded usage of Acthar Gel, it's only FDA-approved product, in a number of therapeutics areas, especially rheumatology which has become the company's single largest growth contributor. BioVectra, Questcor's specialty manufacturing subsidiary, also saw its revenue more than double to $17.3 million from $8.4 million in the prior year period.

Total Acthar Gel vials shipped during the quarter increased 47% to 7,080 from 4,830 with new paid prescriptions jumping 35% to between 2,325 and 2,350. Questcor reminded investors that orders can vary from season to season, and winter months often present its greatest challenge, especially given the slowdown in the reimbursement process from insurers for certain specialty drugs like Acthar.

Still, new paid rheumatology prescriptions more than tripled to between 570 and 580 prescriptions from just 140 to 150 in Q1 last year. Multiple sclerosis relapse patients also boosted their new paid prescriptions by 13% year-over-year. Most importantly, Questcor expects insurance coverage of Acthar Gel to remain favorable moving forward.

This increase in Questcor's top-line led to an 84% surge in profits to an adjusted $1.40 per share from $0.76 per share in the year-ago quarter. Mind you, this was inclusive of an 84% increase in research and development expenses to $19.9 million from $10.8 million.

As Questcor announced in April, it's in the process of being acquired by Mallinckrodt (NYSE: MNK  ) , and it expects its joint merger proxy to be filed by mid-May. Shareholders of both companies will need to approve the buyout if it is to occur. Under the current terms, Questcor shareholders would receive $30 in cash and 0.897 shares of Mallinckrodt for each share of Questcor they own. 

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2933698, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/3/2015 3:40:48 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

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.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.73 23.35 0.14%
S&P 500 1,950.39 1.53 0.08%
NASD 4,743.48 -6.50 -0.14%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

12/31/1969 7:00 PM
QCOR.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Questcor Pharmaceu… CAPS Rating: **
MNK $83.04 Down -1.33 -1.58%
Mallinckrodt plc CAPS Rating: ***