Take Long View

What: Shares of Pernix Therapeutics Holdings (NASDAQ:PTX), a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on neurology and psychiatry diseases, jumped more than 15% today after it reported second quarter earnings.

So what: Revenue at the company exploded 151% higher to $47 million, which was nicely ahead of the $46 million that analysts were expecting. Gross margins also expanded sharply to 71%, up from the 46% reported in the second quarter of 2014.

Strong sales of Treximet, which the company acquired last May from GlaxoSmithKline and is used to treat migraines, was largely responsible for the strong growth in sales, as the company sold $25.5 million worth of product during the quarter. 

While these results sound good, the company reduced its revenue guidance for the year to a range of $170 million to $180 million, down sharply from the $220 million to $240 million that the company guided for in the first quarter report, and is also significantly below the $214 million that analysts are currently expecting. Investors appeared to have shrugged off this news and bid up the shares anyway. 

Now what: Today's price movement should come as a little bit of relief to long-term shareholders, as Pernix has been a quite a tough stock to own this year.

PTX Chart

While the huge sales growth and margin expansion certainly look good, I think there are plenty of reasons to be cautious about Pernix's stock. The company sports quite a large debt load, which currently sits at $357.9 million, versus only $66.8 million of cash. In addition, Treximet, which was the biggest driver of the huge growth in sales, patents begin to expire in 2017.

I think today's share price movement brought a little bit of relief to investors, but I will personally be staying far away from Pernix's stock until the company proves that it can become solidly profitably and shows signs that it will significant reduce their debt load. 

Brian Feroldi has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.