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Why Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Shares Jumped

By Sean Williams – Feb 27, 2014 at 12:34PM

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Sucampo shares are off to the races after topping Wall Street's profit expectations in the fourth-quarter. Is this earnings beat meaningful or just white noise?

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 Sucampo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SCMP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies utilizing prostones and other novel technologies, jumped as much as 19% after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings results after the bell last night.

So what: For the quarter, Sucampo reported a 30% decline in total revenue to $24.5 million, which it noted was due to the receipt of a $15 million milestone payment associated with the launch of long-term constipation treatment Amitiza in Japan last year. Excluding this milestone payment, organic revenue gained 23%, aided most by a 215% improvement in Amitiza sales in Japan. More importantly, Sucampo reported a GAAP profit of $0.05 per share, which was considerably better than the $0.02 loss per share that Wall Street expected.

Now what: Based on this quarterly report, it looks as if Amitiza sales are really beginning to take off around the world. As long as Sucampo can control its expenses, it should be able to simply coast into profits since its partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals is handling all of the marketing aspects in the United States. With easy double-digit top-line growth potential and a minuscule forward P/E of just 15 following today's romp higher, I'd suggest that there could still be additional upside in shares of Sucampo.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

The Motley Fool has no position in any companies mentioned in this article. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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