Pacira Pharmaceuticals, inc. Earnings Send Its Shares Soaring 10% Earlier Today

Exparel sales led to better-than-expected non-GAAP EPS in the second quarter.

Todd Campbell
Todd Campbell
Jul 30, 2015 at 4:59PM
Health Care

What: Despite reporting mixed second quarter financial results, shares in Pacira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PCRX) jumped as much as 10% today, finishing the session up 5.28%.

So what: Pacira Pharmaceuticals sales of its post-surgical pain drug Exparel jumped 27% year-over-year to $57 million last quarter. On the bottom-line, Pacira reported GAAP EPS of $0, an improvement over the $0.14 loss reported a year ago, and non-GAAP net income of $0.23 per share, up from $0.04 last year. Although revenue fell shy of Wall Street's $61.7 million estimate, the non-GAAP results outpaced analyst projections for EPS of $0.20.

Although Exparel's growth was slower than in prior periods, investors appear encouraged by management's suggestion that hurdles weighing down Exparel's sales growth should fade, allowing sales to grow more quickly.

Investors are also likely bidding up shares after hearing the company's update on plans to broaden Exparel's use. After meeting with FDA regulators, Pacira plans to begin additional phase 3 studies evaluating Exparel's use as an upper and lower extremity nerve block later this year. Those trials should help resolve FDA concerns that led to the agency issuing a complete response letter for Exparel's use as a nerve block in March.

Now what:  Overall, Pacira's Exparel sales are tracking at an annualized $227 million and the company is forecasting that its R&D and SG&A expenses will be between $20 million and $25 million and between $115 million and $125 million this year, respectively.

Pacira's shares have been weighed down since the FDA balked at expanding Exparel's label and as a result, industry watchers have ratcheted down their full year non-GAAP EPS estimates for 2016 to $2.31 from $2.65 90 days ago.

Whether or not Pacira's second quarter results offer analysts enough confidence to begin increasing their outlook again remains to be seen, but with a short interest totaling more than 9 days worth of average daily trading volume, I think it's safer to stay on the sidelines for now.