VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS) has made a habit of being first. Its obesity drug Qsymia was the first weight-loss drug to hit the market in 13 years. It's also the first of three high profile obesity-focused stocks reporting earnings this quarter, with third-quarter results released this morning. The others, Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) and Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OREX), report after the market closes today and tomorrow, respectively.
With sales of only $40,000 last quarter, VIVUS' revenue line looks more like your local delicatessen than a company with a $1.5 billion market cap. That revenue number came in well below the average analyst estimate of $350,000, as did the net loss per share of $0.40 (estimates called for a $0.34 loss). But with the company's potential blockbuster Qsymia only available to patients since mid-September, this quarter's financial results shouldn't be the top concern.
The VIVUS investment thesis revolves around future expectations, and Qsymia sales will undoubtedly take some time to ramp up. But how long will it take for sales to ramp? What is the ultimate revenue opportunity? Unfortunately, there was no commentary around future expectations on today's earnings release. Investors will have to wait until the company's earnings call later this morning for additional color.