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 Sangamo Biosciences (NASDAQ:SGMO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing zinc-finger DNA-binding proteins to alter genes, fell as much as 11% after reporting first-quarter earnings results after the closing bell last night.
So what: For the quarter, Sangamo reported a 76% increase in revenue, hitting $8.1 million, driven by collaborative revenue derived from three agreements. Net loss, however, widened slightly to $7.6 million, or $0.12 per share -- from $6.9 million, or $0.13 per share, in the prior-year period -- as research and development expenses jumped to $12 million from $8.2 million. Comparatively speaking, Sangamo was only expected to produce $7 million in revenue and a loss of $0.13 per share. The company also guided full-year revenue to $45 million-$50 million, which is in line with estimates.
Now what: With the company's results more or less in line with or above estimates, you're probably wondering what has investors so down. The culprit appears to be a wider net loss (Sangamo had more shares outstanding this quarter) and merely in-line full-year revenue estimates when investors were clearly expecting more. To me, Sangamo's revenue estimates are decent given that it comes entirely from collaborative revenue. However, following such a huge run higher, investors would also like to see demonstrable progress with the company's clinical pipeline, since amortized revenue won't last forever. I consider Sangamo's proprietary technology intriguing, and I have it on my own watchlist on that accord alone; but as an investment I'd suggest sticking to the sidelines until we have considerably more concrete later-stage data to wrap our hands around.
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.
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