What happened?

Shares of Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) are falling sharply on Thursday after the company reported mixed fourth-quarter 2020 financial results. At 12:27 p.m. EST, the biopharmaceutical company's stock was down by 17.4%.

So what

Akebia Therapeutics' total revenue of $56.7 million for its fourth quarter, ending Dec. 31, beat the consensus analyst estimate, which was $51.16 million. The company's top line dropped by about 18.4% year over year due to a decline in its collaboration revenue. On the bottom line, Akebia Therapeutics reported a net loss of $87 million -- $0.60 per share -- compared to the net loss and net loss per share of $94.5 million and $0.79 respectively that it recorded during the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year. 

Man holding his head in panic staring at a downward pointing graph on a board.

Image source: Getty Images.

On average, analysts expected the company's net loss per share to be $0.40. The bottom-line miss is probably contributing to Akebia Therapeutics' losses on the market today. For the full fiscal year 2020, the company's total revenue declined by roughly 11.8% to $295.3 million, although it came in ahead of the $288.47 million analysts were looking for. Akebia Therapeutics' net loss per share of $2.77 for the year came in well short of the $2.58 average estimate.

Now what

Akebia Therapeutics is gearing up to submit a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Vadadustat as a treatment for anemia due to chronic kidney disease. The company estimates that Vadadustat could have a $2 billion opportunity in this market in the U.S. If approved, this medicine could become a major cash cow for the healthcare company

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