Why Investors Were Disappointed with BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX)

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX)

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX) gapped down and opened 23% below Friday’s close of $5.49. However by early afternoon trading BCRX have climbed back to over $5.00 and a lower loss of over 7%. Volumes have been heavy – over 15 times their daily average.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX) reported Q4 and full year earnings today. The street was expecting a Q4 net loss of $0.25 on revenues of $4.7 million. However the company surprised to the upside with revenues of $9 million and only a net loss of $0.06. For the year, the company reported that its loss widened to $55.1 million, or 75 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $26.4 million.

Investors were less positive over the reports that came from BioCryst’s interim Phase 2 study results. In the phase II study of 28 patients, treatment with BioCryst’s BCX7353 reduced the rate of hereditary angioedema attacks by 52% compared to a placebo. The disease stems from a protein imbalance in the patient’s blood which causes swelling under the skin. Hereditary angioedema is rare and afflicts approximately one in 30,000 people. Current treatments are delivered by injection. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX) is developing an oral drug to hopefully replace the injections. Analysts were expecting a rate reduction in attacks above 70% – so while the drug proved successful against a placebo, the results were short of investor expectations. A conmpeting, iunjectionable drug being developed by Shire (SHPG) reportedly is showing attack reductions around 90%.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX) core development programs include BCX7353 and additional 2nd generation oral inhibitors of plasma kallikrein for hereditary angioedema; and BCX4430 (GALIDESIVIR), a broad spectrum antiviral for hemorrhagic fevers.

Prior to today, BioCrust shares had been performing well – over 175% for the year to the upside. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:BCRX) posted their best sales year in 2015 ($48.3 million). It had also narrowed its EPS loss of $0.68 in 2014 to a smaller loss of $0.59 in 2015. Ten firms follow BioCryst and six rate BCRX as a “Strong Buy”, three rate the shares as a “Hold”, and one rates the shares as an “Underperform”.

Ticker Symbol BCRX
Last Price a/o 2:39 PM EST  $                      5.10
Average Volume                    982,900
Market Cap (mlns)  $                  413.01
Sales (mlns) $22.00
Shares Outstanding (mlns) 75.23
Share Float (mlns) 72.75
Shortable Yes
Optionable Yes
Inside Ownership 1.60%
Short Float 10.84%
Short Interest Ratio 80.2
Quarterly Return -6.95%
YTD Return -13.27%
Year Return 177.27%

I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 96 hours. All information, or data, is provided with no guarantees of accuracy.

About the author: Marc has a degree in economics and a MSc. in Finance. Over his 20 year career, Marc has worked for global investment firms in Europe and the United States as an analyst, fund manager, and consultant.

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Marc has a degree in economics and a MSc. in Finance. Marc worked for global investment firms in Europe and the United States as an analyst, fund manager, and consultant.

1 Comment

  1. BioCryst Reports Positive Interim Results from its APeX-1 Trial

    Reduction of 63% in overall attack rate in HAE patients with severe disease (p=0.006)

    63 not 52.

    DYAX drug= 1 attack per month.
    BCRX drug = 4 attacks per month

    a huge difference.

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