Allergan’s catching a break this year, and it’s one that Thursday allowed it to hike its guidance for 2017.
The company’s new 2017 sales range of $15.85 billion to $16.05 billion, up from $15.8 billion to $16 billion, reflects that the drugmaker doesn’t expect to see a generic of its Namenda XR hit until the first quarter of next year, rather than the fourth quarter of this one, CFO Tessa Hilado said on the Q2 conference call.
Allergan also bumped up its earnings per share forecast, to a $16.05 to $16.45 range from between $15.85 and $16.35.
The raises put the icing on what analysts labeled a good quarter, with both sales of $4.01 billion and EPS of $4.02 topping expectations. Allergan largely had its aesthetics franchise to thank, with blockbuster Botox churning out $816 million in sales—well above Wall Street’s $696 million projection—and fillers beating by $36 million with a $264 million haul.
Aesthetics is “one of the best markets in all of healthcare,” commercial chief Bill Meury said on the call, noting that millennials and males are both driving rapid growth in the segment.
On the flip side, key eye med Restasis dampened the mood, coming in $32 million below consensus at $354 million to mark a 9.4% slide versus last year’s Q2. But Allergan maintained that the slip was fueled by trade-buying patterns, rather than any volume loss in the wake of new Shire competitor Xiidra’s arrival.
That’s not to say there aren’t any Allergan products having a hard time. Both chin-fat buster Kybella, whose sales of $12.7 million were flat, and Viberzi, which has seen some disruption following a contraindication in patients without gallbladders, could use some love, Meury said on the call.
But in the case of Viberzi, for one, the company’s management is confident the med can bounce back. “I view it clearly as a one-time stepback,” CEO Brent Saunders told investors, noting that “the market so far is playing out exactly as we thought.”
With three positive quarters under Allergan's belt since a Q3 slip-up last year, all eyes are now turning to what the company has in store, Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat wrote to clients. "The focus of this stock is shifting from quarter to quarter tracking to big pipeline readouts," he said. "IMHO, Allergan is one of the most catalyst heavy stocks in my entire biotech and pharma coverage over the next 6 to 12 months."