Why Retrophin Inc. Shares Blasted Off

Retrophin shares soar after sharing a double-dose of good news with investors.

May 30, 2014 at 2:16PM

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 Retrophin (NASDAQ:RTRX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat rare disease, soared as much as 31% after announcing a double-dose of good news after the closing bell last night.

So what: First, Retrophin announced that it had arranged for $80 million worth of term loans. Generally speaking debt issuance is frowned upon, however, both of its offerings (two $40 million loans) allow for the conversion of warrants or notes into common stock at a premium to yesterday's closing price. Its $40 million senior secured loan issued the lender 300,000 warrants with an exercise price of $13.93, while its $40 million senior convertible notes offer an initial conversion price of $17.41 per share. Simply put, these higher conversion prices imply expected upside in the company over the coming years.

In addition, Retrophin entered into a U.S. license agreement with privately held Mission Pharmacal Co. for the marketing rights to Thiola, a treatment for cystinuria, a rare genetic cysteine transport disorder. As Martin Shkreli, founder and CEO of Retrophin commented, "Thiola adds another commercial product to our portfolio and is a strategic fit with our focus on rare disease, particularly renal disease." Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Now what: Like I said, it was a double-dose of good news for Retrophin. First, the company gets financing to continue researching serious and rare disease therapies, all while ensuring that shareholders don't get diluted by a share offering. Also, the addition of Thiola should immediately impact Retrophin's top-line and help reduce its cash burn, which prior to last night's licensing agreement announcement looked as if it would top $30 million in 2015. Make no mistake about it; these are both positive developments for Retrophin. As for me, I'm still not overly excited by its pipeline and would prefer to remain on the sidelines until Retrophin gets a lot closer to profitability.

Retrophin shares may have soared today, but they'll probably have a tough time keeping up with this top stock going forward
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