After a brief hiatus, Regeneron ($REGN) is back to steamrolling analysts' expectations. Tuesday, the drugmaker reported second-quarter results that topped Wall Street's projections, thanks once again to growing demand for macular degeneration treatment Eylea.
U.S. sales of the drug climbed 26% to reach $415 million, beating forecasts of $410 million, the New York-based company reported. But despite the leap, Regeneron kept its full-year sales guidance for the med in place at $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion--a move that may have disappointed some investors, Morningstar analyst Stefan Quenneville told Reuters.
"It was a solid quarter for Eylea, but you can't raise sales guidance every quarter," he said.
Trouncing analyst predictions is nothing new for Eylea, which has been flying high ever since it hit the U.S. market in November 2011. But last quarter, a drop in distributor inventory capped sales expansion at 14%--a factor that had some analysts questioning whether Eylea could bounce back to thrash Q2 forecasts.
"We wondered if weakness in ophthalmology office visits could have spilled over into (Regeneron's) second quarter results, but no signs of that," Robert Baird analyst Christopher Raymond told the news service.
Instead, Eylea helped the company post earnings of $93 million on a 45% revenue jump to $666 million. Partner Bayer chipped in with $247 million in non-U.S. sales, with Regeneron recognizing $67 million from its share. And research collaboration payments from Sanofi ($SNY), too, helped pad the drugmaker's top-line haul.
And Eylea's in for another boost, too. Late last month, the FDA gave the med its OK to treat diabetic macular edema, the most frequent cause of vision loss in diabetes patients. Of the estimated 29.1 million diabetic adults in America, 1.5 million have been diagnosed with the condition, and approximately 1 million cases are believed to be undiagnosed, Regeneron said.
But the Tarrytown pharma doesn't expect to be a one-trick pony for long. It's developing a pack of meds with Sanofi, including alirocumab, a cholesterol-fighter with blockbuster potential.
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