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Why Is Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR) Up 6.4% Since Last Earnings Report?

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It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Esperion Therapeutics (ESPR). Shares have added about 6.4% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Esperion Therapeutics due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.

Esperion Misses Q1 Earnings & Revenue Estimates

Esperion incurred loss per share of $3.50 per share in the first quarter of 2021, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.08 per share. The company had incurred loss of $2.26 per share in the year-ago period.

The company generated revenues of $8 million, significantly missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $20.4 million. The company had recorded revenues of $1.8 million in the year-ago quarter. However, revenues declined sequentially.

Quarter in Details

Product revenues, solely from sales of Nurtec ODT in the United States, were $6.4 million in the first quarter compared with $0.9 million in the year-ago quarter and $8.2 million in the previous quarter. The company stated that prescriptions for its drugs were up 46% year over year. However, higher demand for drugs were partially offset by lower net price of the drugs in the United States.

The company recorded Collaboration revenues of $1.6 million in the first quarter compared with approximately $1 million in the year-ago quarter. It included royalty revenues of $0.6 million from Daiichi Sankyo on sales of Esperion’s drugs in Europe.

Research and development (R&D) expenses decreased 19.3% from the year-ago period to $28 million.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) were up 46.9% year over year to $61.1 million. The significant increase was primarily due to costs to support commercialization activities for Nexletol and Nexlizet and a one-time legal settlement cost.

As of Mar 31, 2021, Esperion had cash, cash equivalents and investment securities of $217.9 million compared with $305 million as of Dec 31, 2020.

2021 Guidance Issued

Esperion maintained its guidance for R&D and SG&A costs in 2021. The company anticipates R&D expense for 2021 to be in the range of $120-$130 million. SG&A expense is expected to be between $200 million and $210 million.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 17.2% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Esperion Therapeutics has a poor Growth Score of F, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. Following the exact same course, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the fifth quintile for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of F. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.

Outlook

Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Esperion Therapeutics has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.


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