Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE:EBS) reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat top-line expectations but missed on profit estimates. The company, which focuses on drugs, vaccines, and medical devices that address emerging public health threats, grew its revenue by 33% to $360.4 million, beating the analysts' consensus expectation of $357 million. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.57, which was slightly more than twice its EPS from the year-ago period, but below the $1.73 analysts were expecting.

Much of Emergent's sales growth came from $78.5 million in new shipments of ACAM2000, its smallpox vaccine. In 2019, the company won a new contract worth $2 billion over 10 years to supply the vaccine to the U.S. government's strategic stockpile. Sales of Narcan nasal spray, used by first responders in opioid overdose cases, reached $66.9 million, up 60% compared to its revenue from a partial quarter of shipments a year ago after the company acquired Adapt Pharma.

Vaccine vial does with needle syringe.

Image source: Getty Images.

Management also reaffirmed the 2020 guidance that it released in January for full-year revenue of $1.175 billion to $1.275 billion, an 11% increase over 2019 at the midpoint.

Among the candidates in Emergent's pipeline are a vaccine for the chikungunya virus, and therapeutics for influenza and Zika. It's also working on a response to COVID-19. On the conference call following the release of the quarterly report, CEO Robert Kramer said:

The rise of COVID-19 and the push to develop response capabilities against this emerging infectious disease is squarely in our wheelhouse. We have considerable experience, expertise and the infrastructure to bring to bear in helping respond to and solve for this increasingly challenging public health threat. Currently we're working with several organizations, including the U.S. government, NGOs and commercial parties as to how to best marshal our resources and capabilities, whether it's for the vaccine, a therapeutic, diagnostic or utilizing our extensive contract development and manufacturing capability.

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