Extended-release product specialist Alkermes (NASDAQ:ALKS) reported its first-quarter earnings before the market opened for trading on Thursday, April 27. The company's results showed that sales of its proprietary products Vivitrol and Aristada continued to grow rapidly, which once again helped its top line soar.

Let's take a closer look at the company's results to get a better sense of what happened during the period.

dollars in pill box

Image source: Getty Images.

Alkermes Q1 results: The raw numbers

MetricQ1 2017Q1 2016Year-Over-Year Change
Revenue $191.8 million $156.8 million 22.3%
GAAP net income ($68.9 million) ($77.4 million) N/A
Non-GAAP net income ($27.9 million) ($17.9 million) N/A
Non-GAAP EPS ($0.18) ($0.12) N/A

Data source: Alkermes. GAAP = generally accepted accounting principles. EPS = earnings per share.

What happened with Alkermes this quarter?

  • Net sales of Vivitrol, the company's treatment for opioid and alcohol dependence, grew 33% to $58.5 million.
  • Aristada, which is an extended-release version of the popular schizophrenia drug Abilify, continues to grow rapidly. Sales came in at $18 million for the quarter, up 227% year over year. 
  • Manufacturing and royalty revenues derived from sales of Johnson & Johnson's schizophrenia drugs grew 9.6% to $60 million.
  • Manufacturing and royalty revenues related to Acorda Therapeutics' multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra/Fampyra grew 3% to $29.2 million.
  • Royalty revenue from sales of AstraZeneca's diabetes drug Bydureon grew 17% to $12.3 million.
  • Operating expenses rose 12% to $262.6 million. Management said the increased spending related to investment in the company's commercial infrastructure, higher spending on advancing its late-stage pipeline, and from higher manufacturing costs.
  • Alkermes ended March with $589 million in cash and $283 million in debt.

What management had to say

Commenting on the company's quarterly performance, CFO James Frates stated:

Our results this quarter reflect solid year-over-year growth of our commercial portfolio, driven by our proprietary products, Vivitrol and Airstada. Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, we remain focused on making these important medicines available to patients and driving growth.

Meanwhile, CEO Richard Pops reminded investors that the company continues to make progress with its late-stage pipeline and has a number of upcoming milestones for shareholders to look out for:

Our late-stage pipeline continues to advance rapidly in 2017 with the planned New Drug Application submission for ALKS 5461 for the adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder, data from the pivotal antipsychotic efficacy study for ALKS 3831 in schizophrenia and completion of the clinical registration requirements for ALKS 8700 in multiple sclerosis expected before year-end.

CEO Pops also reaffirmed his belief that all of these products hold blockbuster potential.

Looking forward

Alkermes reiterated its financial guidance for 2017, which calls for Vivitrol net sales in the range of $280 million to $300 million, and for sales of Aristada to at least double. When adding in the company's other revenue streams, total revenue is expected to grow by roughly 20%, and non-GAAP EPS is expected to be about breakeven. 

Alkermes is also set to hear from the FDA in June about its new two-month dosing option for Aristada. If approved, it will be the only two-month antipsychotic on the market and could drive substantial interest from patients and providers.

With revenue on the rise and a burgeoning late-stage pipeline, Alkermes continues to look well-positioned to deliver on its long-term financial targets.

Brian Feroldi has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool recommends Alkermes. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.