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Why Agenus Fell by Over 4% on Monday

By Eric Volkman – Aug 9, 2021 at 7:07PM

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Investors were spooked by some ugly numbers in the company's latest earnings report.

What happened

Agenus (AGEN 12.50%), a darling stock earlier this year, wasn't looking too attractive on Monday. The cancer-focused biotech's shares sank by 4.1% on the day following its second-quarter earnings release.

So what

For the quarter, Agenus saw its revenue shrink to $10.7 million from the year-ago result of nearly $27 million. That was due largely to a sharp decline in the company's take for research and development; this dropped to $1.7 million from the 2020 second-quarter figure of over $18 million.

A medical professional using a microscope.

Image source: Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Agenus' net loss deepened considerably, to almost $84 million ($0.37 per share) from the year-ago shortfall of $48.2 million. 

On average, according to Zack's, prognosticators following the stock were anticipating a revenue figure nearly 37% higher, and a per-share net loss of only $0.24.

On a positive note, however, while Agenus' balance of cash and equivalents fell to $73.5 million at the end of June from nearly $100 million on Dec. 31 of last year, in July the company received an up-front payment of $200 million. That was from pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY 0.31%) to license its AGEN1777 antibody program, in a deal that could potentially be worth up to $1.36 billion more for Agenus.

Now what

The fundamentals of biotechs like Agenus can be very much up and down on a comparative basis. What will likely be much more of a driver of this stock is that big Bristol Myers Squibb deal, which alone could keep the company productive for some time. So investors might just want to consider picking up this stock after the earnings dip.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bristol Myers Squibb. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Agenus Stock Quote
$2.97 (12.50%) $0.33
Bristol-Myers Squibb Stock Quote
Bristol-Myers Squibb
$81.13 (0.31%) $0.25

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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