Biotech companies working on vaccines or treatments for COVID-19 have been grabbing much attention from pundits and analysts. But for investors, it's important to remember that there are companies within this industry that are not directly involved in the fight against the coronavirus -- but are still worth serious consideration.
One such biotech is Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ -0.79%). Shares of this company haven't performed well of late -- they are down by 6.9% year to date, compared with the S&P 500 's meager 1.6% gain in the same period. Despite underperforming the broader market, there are good reasons to add Jazz Pharma to your portfolio; let's discuss some of these reasons.
Second-quarter results were decent despite the pandemic
Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has had a negative effect on Jazz Pharma's operations. Management said that a decrease in interactions between physicians and patients, triggered by the stay-at-home order, was what disrupted its business. Despite these headwinds, Jazz Pharma managed to deliver decent financial results. During its second quarter, which ended on June 30, the company's revenue grew by about 5% year over year to $562.4 million. Leading the charge was the company's crown jewel, Xyrem, a drug approved for the treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder.
During the second quarter, sales of Xyrem came in at $447 million, up by about 8% compared with the prior-year quarter. Some of the company's other products didn't perform as well. For instance, sales of Defitelio (defibrotide), which is used to treat veno-occlusive disease, dropped to $42.7 million compared with $46.1 million during the second quarter of 2019. This decline was due to the effect of the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, Xyrem makes up the lion's share of Jazz Pharma's revenue, and increasing sales from this product were able to offset declining sales for others. On the bottom line, the company recorded GAAP earnings per share (EPS) of $2.06, compared to the $4.56 it recorded during last year's second quarter. However, Jazz Pharma benefited from a one-time tax benefit of $112.3 million during the second quarter of 2019. The company's adjusted EPS during the second quarter of this year was $3.71, which still represented a roughly 8.3% year-over-year decrease.
Still, overall, Jazz's performance during the second quarter was better than anticipated, and what's more, the company revised its full-year guidance upward. Jazz Pharma initially expected its revenue to come in between $2.12 billion and $2.26 billion, and its GAAP EPS to be in the range of $2.70 to $4.30. Now, the company expects revenue between $2.23 billion and $2.32 billion and a GAAP EPS between $3.40 and $4.85. Jazz Pharma's ability to perform well despite the challenges posed by the pandemic is commendable.
Why Jazz Pharma could see better days ahead
Jazz Pharma is in the process of beefing up its lineup of products. The company's narcolepsy medicine Sunosi made its debut in Europe earlier this year, after being launched in the U.S. in July 2019. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also recently approved Zepzelca, a treatment for metastatic small-cell lung cancer, and Xywav, another narcolepsy drug that became the first in 15 years to earn FDA approval for both cataplexy (a sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone) and excessive daytime sleepiness. The former earned regulatory approval on June 15, while the latter got the green light on July 22, and neither generated any revenue for Jazz Pharma during the second quarter.
In addition to these three already approved products, Jazz Pharma submitted a new drug application (NDA) for JZP-258, yet another potential treatment for narcolepsy, on Jan. 22. JZP-258 could hit the market early next year. These drugs should help Jazz Pharma's revenue growth over the next couple of years, and the company boasts many more pipeline candidates with which to replenish its lineup in the future.
Lastly, the biotech is currently trading for just 11.1 times forward earnings, while its price-to-earnings-growth ratio is an attractive 0.44. With an already solid lineup that continues to generate revenue growth despite the challenges of the pandemic, several recent (and upcoming) product launches, and an attractive valuation, I think Jazz Pharma is a biotech stock worth buying right now.