Shares of Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO 0.62%) fell more then 13% today after the company announced first-quarter 2019 operating results. The issue appears to be that the business delivered revenue of $8.1 million, a 36% year-over-year decrease and well behind the average Wall Street estimate of $22.8 million. As of 11:14 a.m. EDT, the stock had settled to a 13.6% loss.
For a clinical-stage biopharma, revenue isn't really too important in the grand scheme of things. However, a sharp rise in operating expenses resulted in an operating loss of $43.9 million in Q1 2019, compared to an operating loss of $21 million in the year-ago period. The roughly $13 million increase would have been offset had the business achieved the $22.8 million in revenue expected by Wall Street.
To put the revenue miss in perspective, Sangamo Therapeutics exited March with $351.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments. When the $136.2 million in net proceeds from an April stock offering are accounted for, the business believes it will have enough capital to fund operations through the end of 2021.
Therefore, investors might rather focus on year-to-date developments. The biopharma made progress on several key clinical programs, notably a phase 1/2 clinical trial for SB-525. The gene therapy candidate is being developed with Pfizer as a potential treatment for the blood disorder hemophilia A. Sangamo Therapeutics also announced a development and manufacturing agreement with Brammer Bio, which will provide access to large-scale and commercial-grade manufacturing infrastructure should the company earn marketing approval down the road.
It's important for investors to remember that Wall Street estimates are just that -- estimates. The financial lexicon calls it a "miss," assuming the company was in error, but in reality analysts are the ones who were wrong. Nonetheless, Sangamo Therapeutics remains on track with its drug development efforts and is flush with cash to pour into R&D initiatives. Despite the stock movement, not much has changed for the business.