Fat-fighting biopharmaceutical company VIVUS (NASDAQ:VVUS) may not have knocked investors' socks off with the release of its fourth-quarter earnings results after the bell this evening, but definite progress was made when it comes to reducing losses.
For the quarter, VIVUS reported total revenue of $44.1 million, a 21-fold increase from the $2 million it reported in the year-ago quarter. The bulk of this difference came from $34.8 million in recognized licensing revenue from Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (UNKNOWN:AUXL.DL) and Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) for Stendra (marketed in the European Union as Spedra), a treatment for erectile dysfunction.
The remaining $9.2 million in revenue came from product sales, including $7.7 million from chronic weight management drug Qsymia, and $1.5 million from Stendra and Spedra. By comparison, VIVUS recognized just shy of $2 million in Qsymia sales during the fourth quarter of 2012. VIVUS noted that Qsymia prescriptions grew by 12% over the sequential third quarter to approximately 124,000 prescriptions written, and that the holidays negatively affected the number of scripts written by physicians.
Net loss, meanwhile, shrank an incredible 70% to just $17.2 million, or $0.17 per share, for the quarter, from $56.7 million, or $0.56 per share, in the year-ago period. This was primarily accomplished through the aforementioned higher licensing revenue which helped offset expenses, as well as a $13.7 million decline in selling, general, and administrative expenses and a 36% reduction in research and development expenses to $5 million.
Since VIVUS is still losing money, cash burn is an incredibly important factor for investors to monitor. VIVUS ended its fiscal year with $343.3 million in cash and securities, compared to $214.6 million at the end of its last fiscal year. The huge increase was attributed to cash provided by financing activities, as well as up-front licensing payments.
VIVUS made no mention of a forward revenue, profit/loss, or cash burn forecast in its report.