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GW Pharmaceuticals Beats on Revenue, Bottom Line for Q4

By Eric Volkman - Feb 16, 2021 at 6:34PM

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The company's net loss was far narrower than many expected.

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) has released what is very possibly its final earnings report as an independent company.

On Tuesday, the maker of drugs derived from cannabis published its fourth-quarter results, which revealed that it earned $148 million in revenue for the period. That was nearly 36% higher on a year-over-year basis. But its net loss deepened across that stretch of time, to just over $29 million ($0.08 per share) from the fourth-quarter 2019 deficit of nearly $25 million.

Stethoscope placed next to a marijuana leaf.

Image source: Getty Images.

On average, analysts tracking the stock were estimating a far deeper net loss of $0.60 per share, and revenue of just over $143 million.

Nearly all of GW Pharmaceuticals' revenue for the period derived from its top drug, Epidiolex, which treats seizures arising from two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, plus the genetic disorder tuberous sclerosis complex. 

GW Pharmaceuticals said in its earnings release that the global market for the drug, which received its initial Food and Drug Administration approval in June 2018, is set to expand. It recently won approval for pricing and reimbursement in Germany, Finland, and Israel, and should hit the market in Spain, France, and Italy by the end of June.

Earlier this month, Ireland-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals reached a deal to acquire GW Pharmaceuticals for $7.2 billion. Jazz was clearly eager to own the company, as that $7.2 billion (about $220 per share) was roughly 50% higher than GW Pharmaceuticals' share price the day before the acquisition was announced. The transaction is expected to close at some point in the second quarter.

Because that deal has effectively set GW Pharmaceuticals' share price for the remainder of its existence as a stand-alone company, the quarterly results didn't move the shares much. They slipped by 0.2% on Tuesday, a slightly steeper fall than that of the S&P 500 index.

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