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Why Wall Street Wasn't Bothered by Jazz Pharmaceuticals' Mixed Q4 Results

By Keith Speights - Feb 24, 2021 at 6:00AM

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The company beat top-line estimates, but missed on the bottom line.

The biggest news for Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ -1.47%) in recent months was the company's announcement earlier this month that it plans to acquire GW Pharmaceuticals in a $7.6 billion deal. Investors initially weren't very thrilled with the acquisition, but later seemed to view it in a more positive light.

Now, Jazz has more news that investors eagerly awaited. The drugmaker announced its fourth-quarter results after the market closed on Tuesday. Here are the highlights from Jazz's Q4 update.

Pills shaped as dollar signs in medication packaging.

Image source: Getty Images.

By the numbers

Jazz reported revenue in the fourth quarter of $665.5 million. This reflected a 14% increase from the prior-year period revenue total of $581.7 million. It also topped the Wall Street consensus estimate of $639.55 million.

The company announced net income of $133.4 million, or $2.33 per share, based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). In the prior-year period, Jazz posted GAAP earnings of $74 million, or $1.29 per share. 

Jazz recorded adjusted net income in the fourth quarter of $228.7 million, or $4.0 per share, down from $253.2 million, or $4.42 per share, in the same period in 2019. It was also well below analysts' average adjusted earnings estimate of $4.20 per share.

Behind the numbers

Sleep disorder drug Xyrem remained Jazz's biggest moneymaker in Q4. Sales for the drug rose 1% year over year to $439.3 million. Its successor, Xywav, launched in the U.S. in November and generated sales of $15.3 million in the fourth quarter. 

Jazz also launched small cell lung cancer drug Zepzelca in July 2020. Sales for the drug totaled $54.4 million in Q4. Sales for another relatively new narcolepsy drug, Sunosi, which launched in July 2019, came in at $8.7 million in Q4, up from $2.7 million in the prior-year period.

Defitelio/defibrotide, which is approved to treat liver disorder veno-occlusive disease, generated sales of $55.5 million in Q4, a 16% year-over-year jump. Sales for leukemia drug Erwinaze/Erwinase rose 3% to $55.6 million. Manufacturing issues at Porton Biopharma Limited continued to limit the availability of the supply of the drug.

Jazz's worst performance in the fourth quarter came from another leukemia drug, Vyxeos. Sales for the drug fell 2% year over year to $31 million, largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company's bottom line in Q4 was weighed down in large part by increased expenses related to the launches of Zepzelca and Xywav and the continued rollout of Sunosi. In addition, Jazz made an upfront payment of $35 million to purchase SpringWorks Therapeutics' fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor program.

Looking ahead

Investors didn't seem concerned about Jazz's mixed Q4 results, with shares rising slightly in after-hours trading. That's probably because Jazz looks for solid growth going forward.

The company projects full-year 2021 revenue of between $2.55 billion and $2.7 billion, with net product sales in the range of $2.54 billion to $2.685 billion. It anticipates GAAP earnings per share for the year will be between $8.30 and $10.45, with adjusted earnings per share between $15.65 and $16.85.

Jazz looks for the acquisition of GW Pharmaceuticals to close in the second quarter of this year. The deal should enable Jazz to achieve double-digit revenue growth.

Other potential catalysts on the way for the biotech stock relate to its lead sleep disorder candidate. Jazz plans to report late-stage results for JZP-258 in Q2, with an anticipated launch in the fourth quarter of this year.

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