Shares of biopharmaceutical developer AbCellera Biologics (ABCL -1.23%) are up 19.1% as of 11:51 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, down from its midday peak near 23.7%. The surge follows yesterday's post-close release of mixed second-quarter results. Investors, however, are more fixated on a bright future.
For the three-month stretch ending in June, AbCellera Biologics turned $45.9 million worth of revenue into a loss of nearly $7 million, or $0.02 per share. Sales were well up from the year-ago figure of $27.6 billion, though the bigger top line didn't lead to a bigger bottom line; the company only lost $0.01 per share during the second quarter of 2021. Soaring research and development (R&D) costs along with higher administrative spending were the key culprits of the company's operating loss of $8.4 billion, up from a loss of $7 billion for the same quarter a year earlier.
The future, however, still looks bright to investors. The stock's racing higher today mostly on the heels of four new drug trial starts and six new drug development deals. The company's now got 88 contracted antibody development programs underway, with 138 unique trials under contract. It's also got six different drug molecules in its clinical portfolio, up from only four at this point in time for 2021.
AbCellera is doing what it's supposed to do: handle research and development efforts for third-party drug companies that may not be in a position (or have the incentive) to do so for themselves. Particularly as new COVID-19 case numbers appear to be falling, it's no surprise to see new R&D projects ramp up.
Perhaps more important than that right now to prospective shareholders, however, is that even with today's surge translating into more than a 100% gain from May's low, the stock is still down more than 80% from the high hit after its initial public offering (IPO) early last year.
In retrospect it looks like all that profit-taking had more to do with insiders and early investors cashing out than it did with the organization's results and prospects. With today's bullish jolt, though, it's arguable the recovery effort that's been underway for the past three months is solidified, rooted in the company's obvious growth. It's a compelling prospect for investors who can stomach above-average risk and volatility.