On Thursday, Incyte (INCY -0.78%) reported results from 2019's fourth quarter that suggest 2020 could be a great year for the company, despite disappointing clinical trial results announced in January. 

Revenue surged 24% year over year to $579 million, which was slightly above the consensus estimate. On the bottom line, Incyte reported adjusted earnings of $0.65 per share for the quarter, which exceeded analysts' average expectation by 12%.

Doctor holding up a dollar sign.

Image source: Getty Images.

Jakafi's still growing

Sales of Jakafi, which provide Incyte's most important revenue stream, are still growing at a good clip following its approval last May to treat acute graft vs. host disease in patients who aren't helped enough by regular steroids. That label expansion helped drive sales of Jakafi 23% higher to $466 million in the fourth quarter.

Combined with royalties that Incyte receives from Novartis (NVS 0.95%) based on sales of Jakavi outside of the U.S., Incyte's lead drug was responsible for a whopping 92% of its total revenue during the fourth quarter. Royalty revenue from Eli Lilly for sales of Olumiant, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment that Lilly launched in 2018, soared 70% year over year in the fourth quarter to $24 million.

Redemption ahead

Incyte disappointed a lot of investors in January when it announced a late-stage clinical trial failure for itacitinib, but there are plenty of potential growth drivers in the company's late-stage pipeline. Earlier this week, the FDA granted a priority review to a potential new cancer drug called capmatinib that Novartis licensed from Incyte years ago.

Incyte could also get a revenue boost from a new topical cream containing ruxolitinib, Jakafi's active ingredient, for patients with mild-to-moderate eczema. The first of two pivotal studies with this large patient group has produced positive results already, and data from the second should become available this quarter.