Pacira BioSciences (PCRX 0.57%) posted great revenue growth when it reported its quarterly results in February. Heading into the first quarter, investors were wondering if Pacira would be able to keep the momentum going. 

That question was answered when the drugmaker announced its Q1 results before the market opened on Thursday. Here's what you need to know from the company's quarterly update.

first quarter key on keyboard

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Pacira's top-line performance improved in the first quarter. Revenue jumped 22.4% year over year to $91.3 million. Analysts estimated that the company's revenue for the first quarter would come in at $92.19 million.

How did Pacira's bottom line look in the first quarter? The company reported a net loss of $2.8 million, or $0.07 per share, on a GAAP basis, compared to a loss of $10.7 million, or $0.26 per share, in the same period in 2018.

On a non-GAAP adjusted basis, Pacira's net income in the first quarter was $9.3 million, or $0.22 per share. This reflected a whopping 933% increase from the prior-year period's adjusted net income of $0.9 million, or $0.02 per share. Wall Street analysts estimated that Pacira would post earnings of $0.26 per share in the quarter.

Behind the numbers

The revenue's increase was almost entirely due to Pacira's leading pain management injectable drug, Exparel. Sales for Exparel jumped 22.4% year over year to $90.6 million.  

Operating expenses for the company increased to $90.2 million in the quarter as compared to the prior-year period total of $81.5 million. The increased spending primarily resulted from higher cost of goods sold and higher selling, general, and administrative expenses. However, Pacira's research and development costs were basically flat year over year.

The company also picked up a new system, iovera, with its recent acquisition of MyoScience. This acquisition cost Pacira $120 million in cash. 

Looking ahead

Pacira expects that Exparel net product sales will be between $400 million and $410 million for the full year. The company also projects that iovera's net product sales will be between $8 million and $10 million.

CEO Dave Stack mentioned that investors can look forward to continued momentum for the company's partnership with Johnson & Johnson. Stack said that Johnson & Johnson's orthopedic procedures will continue to "solidify the role of Exparel as the foundation of non-opioid solutions for rotator cuff, spine, joint reconstruction, and hip fracture procedures." He also added that Pacira expects to "deliver another year of record Exparel sales."

Investors can also look forward to upcoming clinical results from Pacira. The company is scheduled to present results from the phase 4 study of Exparel in patients undergoing Casarean section at the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology annual meeting later this week. In addition, Pacira plans to report results from a study of Exparel in third molar extractions at the International Association of Dental Research meeting in June.