Biogen (BIIB) reports second-quarter financials Tuesday, with analysts expecting both profit and revenue to fall as all eyes are on the company’s recently fully approved Alzheimer’s drug, Leqembi.
Wall Street sees earnings for the Cambridge, Mass.-based multinational biotechnology company slipping 28% to $3.77 per share in the second quarter, with sales decreasing 9% to $2.36 billion. Meanwhile, analysts are targeting updates to the company’s strategy for the commercial launch of Leqembi.
Last week, BMO Capital analyst Evan Seigerman lowered the firm’s price target on Biogen stock to 357, down from 380. Seigerman maintained an outperform rating on BIIB shares, telling investors he is waiting to hear the company’s updated plans and strategy for its Alzheimer’s drug.
Alzheimer’s Drug In Focus
The focus on Leqembi comes after the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the treatment on July 6.
The drug already had accelerated approval, but with the traditional approval, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will reimburse patients for the cost of the Alzheimer’s treatment. Leqembi costs $26,500 annually without insurance.
However, questions remain about how fast Biogen and partner Eisai (ESAIY) can ramp up the drug.
Doctors will have to submit patient data before treatment and every six months to a registry database. The approval also includes a black box warning for a heightened risk of brain swelling in patients with a specific genetic abnormality and those on blood thinners. The FDA suggested patients receive genetic testing prior to treatment.
Analysts expect Eli Lilly’s donanemab to receive FDA approval by the end of the year.
Biogen stock edged up a fraction to close at 277 during Monday’s market trade. On a weekly chart, Biogen stock has formed a flat base with a 319.76 buy point, according to MarketSmith analysis. Following FDA final approval of Leqembi, Biogen stock fell to its lowest point since April and has been trading below the 200-day line.
Biogen Stock: First-Quarter Results
Ahead of second-quarter earnings, analysts expect Biogen’s full-year earnings to fall 13% to $15.42 a share, in line with Biogen’s reaffirmed outlook for profit to come in at $15-$16 per share. Wall Street also predicts revenue sliding 6% to $9.6 billion.
On April 25, Biogen beat first-quarter expectations. The company earned $3.40 per share, minus some items, on $2.46 billion in sales. Earnings fell 3% but topped expectations by 12 cents a share. Sales skidded 6%. Still, analysts called for Biogen sales to come in even lower, at $2.34 billion.
Investors were watching closely for any sales from Leqembi. However, Biogen lost $18.9 billion in its Leqembi collaboration with Eisai. Leqembi has been on the market since its accelerated approval in January. But in the first quarter Biogen and Eisai spent more to launch and market Leqembi than the drug generated. Analysts expected a $16 billion loss on Leqembi in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Biogen’s multiple sclerosis franchise continued to decline. Biogen’s bread-and-butter medicines are facing competition from new products and generic knockoffs. Sales of the MS portfolio plummeted 19% across the board to less than $1.13 billion.
Revenue from Tysabri missed forecasts at $473 million, but Tecfidera beat with $274 million.
In April, Biogen reiterated its forecast for full-year sales to decline by a single-digit percentage despite the launch of Leqembi, enthusiasm for zuranolone and the fresh accelerated approval of Qalsody.
Please follow Kit Norton on Twitter @KitNorton for more coverage.