Shares of Corcept Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CORT) fell nearly 14% today after the company announced preliminary full-year 2018 results. The pharma company reported full-year revenue of $251.2 million, including fourth-quarter 2018 revenue of $66.8 million. Both were below the consensus estimates on Wall Street of $254.8 million and $70.4 million, respectively, according to numbers compiled by Yahoo! Finance.
Management said it expects full-year 2019 revenue of $285 million to $315 million, which would represent a sharp slowdown in top-line growth driven by its lone drug, Korlym, a treatment for Cushing's syndrome. However, the business is comfortably profitable and exited 2018 with nearly $207 million in cash and investments.
As of 12:01 p.m. EST, the stock had settled to a 9.4% loss.
As far as individual investors are concerned, Wall Street estimates should never really be given too much weight. Remember, they're essentially models in spreadsheets based on estimated guesses made after talking to management and doctors (if analysts even do that). That said, there are still two things investors should be watching at Corcept Therapeutics.
First, revenue growth for Korlym is indeed slowing down. Full-year 2018 revenue grew 58% from the year-ago period, but fourth-quarter 2018 revenue grew just 25% from the prior-year period. That means product revenue was growing much more quickly in the beginning of last year than at the end. Achieving the high end of 2019 revenue guidance would represent growth of 25% from 2018.
Second, Corcept Therapeutics was recently the subject of an investigation by the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation (SIRF) that uncovered questionable safety and efficacy data for Korlym, among other red flags for the business. The allegations should give any investor pause and, quite frankly, suggest the stock is much too risky to own.
Corcept Therapeutics sports a market cap of $1.2 billion after a rough week. While that's relatively cheap on a sales basis, there are some notable red flags and sources of uncertainty that investors cannot dismiss. Simply put, the fact that the business whiffed on Wall Street estimates is not the main story to follow.