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Why Array Biopharma Inc. Shares (Briefly) Popped

By Alex Planes - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:42PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Array Biopharma (ARRY) opened 10% higher this morning but have since settled into a modest 2% gain as investors digest the small biotech's latest earnings report. The stock has had difficulty holding onto its gains as the day progresses.

So what: Array reported revenue of $14.1 million and a loss of $0.13 per share for its fiscal second quarter. While the top line plunged 23% year over year, it was still better than the $13.5 million Wall Street consensus -- Array's $0.13 loss was also three cents better than the $0.16 loss analysts expected. The company wound up spending much less on R&D ($9.5 million vs. $13.9 million last year), but this was more than offset by the cost of its partnered programs, which rose from $7.9 million last year to $13.1 million in the latest quarter.

Now what: Expectations were abysmally low for Array this quarter, but even its modest beat represents a big year-over-year drop on both top and bottom lines. The company has yet to convince investors that its trial-phase drugs are going to be blockbusters, as shares barely bested index gains over the past year, despite a tremendous amount of volatility over that time. Earnings for development-stage biotechs don't really offer investors much guidance, at any rate, so it wouldn't be surprising if the stock finishes flat today.

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Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more insight into markets, history, and technology.

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