This morning, Genzyme
The stock is up sharply today, almost 8%, after Genzyme reported earnings of $0.68 a share (excluding one-time items and stock compensation). The last six months have been rough for Genzyme shareholders; the stock has been down more than 20%, underperforming the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index.
Part of the decline in Genzyme shares can be attributed to general weakness in the biotech sector, but I'd wager that a larger part of the decline is due to worries about slowing sales growth for the company's lead drug, Cerezyme, for Type 1 Gaucher disease.
With $254 million in sales, Cerezyme accounted for nearly one-third of Genzyme's sales this quarter, and sales grew only 8% year over year. These results follow a slow first quarter, in which Cerezyme sales only grew 6% compared to Q1 2005.
Despite Cerezyme's slow growth, most of Genzyme's other drugs are exhibiting good sales growth year ove ryear:
|Q2 2005||Q2 2006||Growth|
Altogether, these three products and the diagnostics division accounted for 46% of Genzyme's revenues for the quarter. With Cerezyme sales starting to stagnate, I'll be paying close attention to how these products do in the upcoming quarters, since they'll be accounting for most of Genzyme's future revenue growth.
The other notable news delivered today was the first sales numbers for Genzyme's newly launched drug, Myozyme, for Pompe disease. Sales were modest at $6.5 million, but Myozyme has only been actively marketed for less than two months in the U.S. Over the next year, as sales ramp up, I expect Myozyme to become a nice revenue-growth driver for Genzyme.
With solidly growing profits of $135 million this quarter and a burgeoning cash hoard of nearly $1.4 billion, I'll bet money that there's an acquisition or two in Genzyme's future. Management didn't rule this theory out when asked by analysts in the conference call, and the company hasn't been afraid make purchases in the past.
Trading at roughly 23 times the company's estimated 2006 earnings of $2.65-$2.75 a share, Genzyme does offer intriguing value in the biotech sector. With its growing profits, a robust drug pipeline, and boatloads of cash, investors should take notice if Genzyme shares get much cheaper.
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