A few days ago, I posed a question in an article: How bad will MannKind Corporation's (NASDAQ: MNKD) second-quarter results look? We now know the answer to that question. The company announced its second-quarter results after the market closed on Monday. And those results were basically what I expected -- better, but still pretty bad.

There was some good news in MannKind's latest update, along with some bad news as well. Here are five things that you'll really want to know from the company's second-quarter results and its conference call to discuss those results and the days ahead. 

Computer keyboard with red "2nd quarter button"

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Afrezza sales are growing

Perhaps the best news of all from MannKind's update was that Afrezza sales are increasing. Net revenue from the drug was $1.5 million, up 29% from the first quarter. Gross revenue increased even more, up 60% year over year to $2.6 million.

MannKind also provided guidance for Afrezza sales for the first time. The company expects net sales of the drug between $6 million and $10 million in the second half of 2017, with gross sales between $9 million and $14 million. This outlook reflects expectations of a not-so-insignificant uptick in sales for Afrezza (at least, it's not insignificant on a percentage basis).  

2. Losses are growing, too

Now for the ugly part of MannKind's second-quarter results. The company's bottom line worsened in the second quarter. MannKind reported a net loss of $35.3 million, or $0.35 per share, in the second quarter. By comparison, the company posted a net loss of $30.0 million, or $0.33 per share, in the prior-year period. In the first quarter of 2017, MannKind recorded a net loss of $16.3 million, or $0.17 per share.

There were two main factors behind the bigger loss. First, MannKind's selling, general, and administrative expense increased considerably. However, that was to be expected as the company beefed up its sales force. Second, currency fluctuations delivered a major whammy, adding more than $6.8 million to total expenses.

3. Parting ways with TASE

Back in 2015, MannKind listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). The move was a nifty trick at the time that generated an additional $36.2 million in cash net of associated fees. MannKind CEO Michael Castagna announced on Monday, though, that the company was withdrawing from TASE.

While the decision a couple of years made sense, MannKind's delisting from TASE now should also be a positive step. According to Castagna, this will free up around 10 million preferred shares. MannKind will remain listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

4. A big milestone coming up

Castagna ranks the anticipated label change for Afrezza as one of the top keys to success for MannKind. The company has presented data to the FDA that it believes shows a differentiated pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic profile for Afrezza. In particular, MannKind hopes to convince the federal agency that Afrezza starts working within five minutes, is faster-acting than the competition, and, in blunt terms, is simply better altogether than many other diabetes treatments.

It's hard to overstate how important this potential label change could be for MannKind. Right now, the company can't legally make some of the claims for Afrezza that its team strongly feels are true. MannKind expects a decision in the third quarter. If all goes well, the company will launch the newly labeled product in the fourth quarter.

5. Staying alive

Two numbers in MannKind's second-quarter update won't give investors a warm-and-fuzzy feeling. The company reported cash and cash equivalents totaling $43.4 million at the end of June. However, MannKind expects to burn through $18 million to $24 million each quarter in the second half of this year. It doesn't take sophisticated math to calculate that the company will soon run out of money without something happening.

Castagna said that no one at MannKind is "losing sleep" over this situation, though. He noted that MannKind has several options for generating more capital, including issuing more shares and taking on additional debt.

Looking ahead

MannKind stock dropped around 13% in after-hours trading before climbing back to a loss of under 8%. It's understandable that investors weren't happy with the company's deeper loss in the second quarter and the fact that its cash is rapidly running out.

On the other hand, there are a few hopeful signs for MannKind. If the company gets its wishes fulfilled by the FDA on the label change, the larger sales force MannKind now has in place could be able to sell Afrezza more effectively than ever before. The company also has some intriguing potential for the use of its technology platform in delivering trepostinil for treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. And there's also the possibility that the company will find partners for its non-insulin Technosphere-based pipeline candidates. 

All of those are if's and maybe's, though. As of now, we only have MannKind's current status -- improved, but still a long way to go.