What happened

Investors in Endo International plc (NASDAQ:ENDP) had a May to celebrate. Shares of the beaten-down pharmaceutical company gained 12.9% during the period, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

So what

Endo's investors can thank a well-received first-quarter earnings report for the jump. Here's a quick look at the highlights from the quarter:

  • Revenue grew 8% to $1.04 billion. The jump was primarily due to a 24% increase in sales of generic drugs in the U.S., thanks to the recent successful introduction of generic versions of AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR tablet and Merck's Zetia. However, those gains were offset by a 19% decrease in its established products portfolio. Management blamed the decline on competition from generics.
  • On a GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) basis, the company reported a net loss from continuing operations of $165 million, or $0.74 per share. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share actually increased 14% to $1.23. This figure was quite a bit better than the $1.10 in adjusted EPS that Wall Street had expected.
  • Endo ended March with $618 million in cash, and debt of $8.3 billion.

Traders cheered the adjusted EPS beat, which is the primary reason shares jumped in May.

Businesswoman looking at phone excitedly

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Management also reaffirmed its full-year 2017 guidance. Here's a quick reminder of what the company expects to happen this year:

  • Revenue between $3.45 billion and $3.60 billion
  • GAAP loss per share between $0.80 and $0.50
  • Adjusted EPS between $3.45 and $3.75

Endo's stock is currently trading around 3.5 times the midpoint of this year's adjusted EPS range. That's a dirt-cheap price tag, and it is quite telling about how Wall Street feels about this company. While there could be a lot of upside from here if Endo can manage to right the ship, I've learned the hard way that it is important to be extremely cautious around stocks that look absurdly cheap. For that reason, I'm content to watch Endo's story unfold from the sidelines.

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.