Why Rockwell Medical Inc. Shares Dipped

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 Rockwell Medical (NASDAQ: RMTI  ) , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease, fell as much as 10% after the company reported its first-quarter earnings results after the closing bell last night.

So what: For the quarter, Rockwell Medical reported revenue of $13 million, a 5% increase over the year-ago quarter, as gross profit jumped 31%, to $1.7 million, and research and development expenses tumbled 64%, to just $4.6 million. The company's net loss for the quarter was practically halved, down 49%, to $7.8 million, or $0.20 per share, from $15.4 million, or $0.72 per share in Q1 2013. By comparison, Wall Street was anticipating a narrower net loss of just $0.14 per share.

Now what: While Rockwell didn't go into a lot of detail about its earnings results, the only factor that really had a demonstrable change was its reduced R&D expenses with the absence of its Triferic trial costs. While investors might feel enticed to duck and cover based on today's wider loss, they should really be focused on the outcome of Rockwell's new drug application filing for Triferic as an iron replacement therapy during dialysis. Triferic performed remarkably well in trials, and my personal expectation is that it'll be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. With annual peak sales expected to be $150 million-$250 million for Triferic (if approved), and the company's costs coming down considerably, I suspect there could be decent upside in shares over the long run following today's swoon.

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