The second quarter was a fairly uneventful one for biotech company MedImmune
MedImmune will get royalties that amount to a single-digit percentage of its overall revenues from sales of Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline's
Despite the royalty revenues it will start receiving in a few quarters, I contain my excitement for MedImmune's prospects because sales for Synagis have been stagnating. The company gets the vast majority of its revenues from Synagis, for lower respiratory tract disease.
Due to the seasonal nature of Synagis sales, I don't worry much about Synagis garnering only $33 million this quarter versus the $51 million it brought in during the second quarter of 2005. I do worry about management's guidance for Synagis sales to be flat for the year compared with 2005.
If the sales turn out to be comparable to 2005's numbers, then MedImmune would rake in $1.1 billion from Synagis for 2006. Because of the languishing Synagis sales, the company guided for overall product sales to grow only 4% versus 2005 to $1.3 billion. This is not good news because 2005 wasn't exactly a high-growth year: MedImmune experienced only a 9% increase in revenues that year versus 2004.
Besides the royalties from the HPV vaccines, the company is being proactive in trying to grow revenues, though. Within the next few weeks, MedImmune will submit an application to the FDA in the hopes of getting a label expansion for its nasal flu vaccine, FluMist, so it can be used in children as young as 1.
MedImmune does have a large pipeline, with about 15 products in clinical testing. Don't get too excited over this, though, as almost all of the products are in very early stages of development and it could be years before MedImmune will reap meaningful revenues from them.
I've always admired MedImmune for its innovations in vaccines, but I don't have the same feelings about the company's stock. With only the royalties from the HPV vaccines to drive revenue growth in the near future and the company expecting to earn only $0.19 to $0.24 a share for 2006, I'd pass on owning MedImmune shares at current prices.
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