Amarin Corporation plc (AMRN -3.68%) has given shareholders plenty to be happy about in 2016. The stock is up over 60% year to date. Amarin announced its third-quarter results before the market opened on Thursday. Were shareholders still happy? Here are three important things you need to know about Amarin's results.

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1. Vascepa is hot

Amarin reported third-quarter revenue of $32.4 million, a huge 52% year-over-year increase. Sales are soaring for the company's triglyceride-lowering drug Vascepa. Amarin cited data from Symphony Health Solutions that showed the number of prescriptions for Vascepa increased by 54% compared to the prior year period. Data from IMS Health looked even better, with a 56% year-over-year jump in prescription volume for the drug.

In October, Amarin launched a smaller, 0.5-gram, capsule size for Vascepa. Previously, the smallest size available was the 1-gram capsule. This move should appeal to patients who prefer a smaller capsule.

The company expects to wrap up its major cardiovascular outcomes study of Vascepa before the end of 2017. So far, everything is progressing as expected with the study. Amarin's independent data-monitoring committee didn't recommend any changes in its interim efficacy analysis completed in September.

2. Bottom line improving

Despite tremendous growth for Vascepa, Amarin still lost money in the third quarter. The company reported a net loss of $15.8 million, or $0.08 per share. However, Amarin's bottom line is definitely improving. In the third quarter of 2015, the company posted a net loss of $32.3 million, or $0.18 per share.

On a non-GAAP adjusted basis, Amarin's third-quarter net loss was $16 million, or $0.08 per share. That also reflected improvement from the prior-year period. In the third quarter of 2015, Amarin reported a non-GAAP adjusted net loss of $26.5 million, or $0.14 per share.

Revenue growth obviously helped make the year-over-year comparisons look much better. However, Amarin also appears to be controlling costs effectively. Total operating expenses in the third quarter decreased slightly from the same quarter last year. 

3. In good financial shape overall

Amarin's overall financial health looks pretty good. The company raised around $65 million with a stock offering in August. Subsequent to that stock offering, Amarin followed up with a mandatory exchange of $150 million in previously outstanding debt. Senior notes that had been issued in the past were converted into Amarin stock.

As of Sept. 30, Amarin's cash and cash equivalents totaled $117.6 million. That should position the company to fund operations for quite a while, most importantly through the completion of the cardiovascular outcomes study. The best news of all is that Amarin expects to become cash flow positive in 2017. 

Looking ahead

I expect Vascepa to continue its winning ways. Amarin could get some good news in the not-too-distant future from partners that are working toward regulatory approval in China, the Middle East, and North Africa. Approval in China would certainly present a big step forward.

The biggest potential catalyst for Amarin, however, is the cardiovascular outcomes study. Amarin expects that a second  interim efficacy and safety analysis will be conducted by its data-monitoring committee in or around the third quarter of 2017. The study should wrap up toward the end of next year. Amarin hopes to announce results in 2018. If all goes well, Vascepa sales should soar even higher -- along with Amarin's shares.