What: After reporting encouraging full-year financials earlier in the month, news that it will be added to the S&P 600 index of stocks sent shares in SciClone Pharmaceuticals (SCLN) surging by 14.06% at 3:30 p.m. ET.
So what: SciClone's management reported on March 10 that its revenue climbed 17% year over year to $157.3 million in 2015.
Revenue came predominately from sales of Zadaxin, a hepatitis B treatment the company markets in China. Zadaxin's sales totaled $146.1 million, up 16% from the year before.
SciClone also announced that it has fully resolved investigations by the SEC and Department of Justice. The company settled with the SEC for $12.8 million, including disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a penalty, and the DOJ opted not to pursue further action.
On Wednesday, the S&P Dow Jones Indices announced that SciClone will replace recently acquired Affymetrix in the S&P 600, a small-cap index of stocks.
Now what: The SEC and DOJ investigation have been a big overhang on the company. According to documents filed by the SEC, between 2007 and 2012, employees of SciClone subsidiaries tasked with selling SciClone's drugs gave money, gifts, and other things of value to foreign officials, including healthcare professionals employed by state-owned hospitals. These transactions were falsely recorded by SciClone as legitimate business expenses.
As part of its settlement with the SEC, SciClone has hired compliance officers for its China operations and doubled down on policies and procedures to prevent these activities in the future.
Assuming SciClone's missteps are truly in the rear-view mirror, the company may be intriguing as an investment. On a GAAP basis, net income per diluted share was $0.59 (after deducting $10.8 million in settlement expenses), up from $0.25 in 2014. If SciClone can continue to grow Zadaxin in China, launch additional products there, and those sales continue to translate into profit growth, then the size and scope of the Chinese healthcare market could make this stock worth considering by risk-tolerant investors seeking exposure to Asia.