What happened

After Intrexon (NASDAQ:PGEN), a company focused on synthetic biology, reported first-quarter earnings, its shares rose 18% as of 11:25 a.m. EDT on Thursday.

So what

Here's a review of the headline numbers from the quarter:

  • Revenue grew 24% to $53.7 million. That figure easily exceeded the $48.8 million in revenue that market watchers were looking for.
  • Net loss was $31.4 million, or $0.26 per share. That was a bit worse than the $0.23 loss that Wall Street had expected.
  • Cash balance at the end of the quarter was $205.2 million.

Financial numbers aside, Intrexon also had a slew of other recent developments to share with investors:

  • Intrexon and Darling Ingredients announced that their EnviroFlight joint venture will build a new commercial-scale production facility of insect-based feed ingredients for animal feed.
  • The company's reported that its Friendly Aedes mosquitoes achieved greater than 80% suppression of wild Aedes aegypti in Brazil in the second year of the project. 
  • Intrexon's collaborating partner, Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP), reported a successful end-of-phase 2 meeting with the Food and Drug Administration for Ad-RTS-hIL-12 and veledimex in treating recurrent glioblastoma. A pivotal phase 3 trial is currently in the works. 
  • Ziopharm also announced improved production times in its ongoing phase 1 trial of its second-generation Sleeping Beauty CD19 + CAR-T cells. In addition, a patient with multiple-relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia achieved a complete response and another patient with non-Hodgkin lymphoma was treated with T-cells manufactured by the company in just two weeks.
  • Intrexon and Ziopharm also had an IND application accepted by the FDA for a phase 1 study of the company's CD33-specific CAR+ T therapy in refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Enrollment is expected to begin next quarter.
  • The company announced the formation of a new subsidiary called Precigen that is designed to "accelerate strategic evaluation of structural alternatives for consolidation of Intrexon's health-related assets to enhance shareholder value and maximize the potential of the Company's programs in health."
  • Intrexon and partner Fibrocell Science announced fast-track designation from the FDA for FCX-007 for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.
  • Intrexon agreed to acquire GenVec.
  • Intrexon completed the listing of its AquaBounty Technologies subsidiary on the Nasdaq.

Traders bid up Intrexon's stock in response to all of this positive news.

business man giving thumbs up

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Intrexon continues to offer investors multibagger potential if any of its high-risk projects pay off. However, keeping tabs on all of those projects can be quite difficult, which makes this a stock that requires a tremendous amount of homework. For that reason, this stock should probably only be owned by seasoned investors who are comfortable with volatility. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.