Stock Update (NASDAQ:NKTR): Nektar Therapeutics Reports Financial Results for the Second Quarter of 2015


Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015.

Cash and investments in marketable securities at June 30, 2015 were $279.7 million as compared to $325.8 million at March 31, 2015.

“We are pleased that the MOVANTIK launch in the U.S. is off to an encouraging start with very rapid uptake,” said Howard W. Robin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nektar. “AstraZeneca plans to launch MOVANTIK in both Europe andCanada in the second half of this year. The SUMMIT-07 efficacy study of NKTR-181 in patients with chronic low back pain is well underway and proceeding ahead of schedule.  We recently signed an important clinical collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center for our immuno-oncology therapy, NKTR-214, which is scheduled to enter a Phase 1 / 2 clinical study before year-end.  Finally, Baxalta’s ADYNOVATE, or BAX 855, continues on track to be approved and launched in the U.S. by the end of 2015.”

Year-to-date revenue for 2015 was $131.5 million as compared to $48.3 million in the first half of 2014.  The increase in revenue in the first half of 2015 as compared to the same period in 2014 is due to the recognition of $90.0 million of the $100.0 million milestone payment from AstraZeneca following the first commercial sale of MOVANTIK in the U.S.   Revenue in the second quarter of 2015 was $22.7 million as compared to $28.5 million in the second quarter of 2014. Revenue included non-cash royalty revenue, related to our 2012 royalty monetization, of $4.7 million and $8.7 million in the second quarter and first half of 2015, respectively, and $4.8 million and $10.6 million in the second quarter and first half of 2014, respectively. This non-cash royalty revenue is offset by non-cash interest expense.

Total operating costs and expenses in the first half of 2015 were $131.9 million as compared to $107.6 million in the first half of 2014.  Total operating costs and expenses in the second quarter of 2015 were $66.1 million as compared to $51.4 million in the second quarter of 2014.  Total operating costs and expenses increased primarily as a result of increased research and development (R&D) expense.

Research and development expense in the second quarter of 2015 was $45.4 million as compared to $36.7 million in the second quarter of 2014.  For the first half of 2015, R&D expense was $92.4 million as compared to $75.0 million in the first half of 2014.  R&D expense was higher in the second quarter and first half of 2015 as compared to the same periods in 2014 primarily due to the initiation of the Phase 3 efficacy study of NKTR-181 in patients with chronic low back pain.  Additionally, R&D expense in the first half of 2015 included costs related to the commercial scale-up of production of devices for Amikacin Inhale, the ongoing Phase 3 study of NKTR-102 in breast cancer, the ongoing Phase 1 study of NKTR-171, and IND enabling activities for NKTR-214, which will enter the clinic in 2015.

General and administrative expense was $10.2 million in the second quarter of 2015 as compared to $9.6 million in the second quarter of 2014.  G&A expense in the first half of 2015 was $20.5 million as compared to $19.5 million in the first half of 2014.

Net loss in the second quarter of 2015 was $52.7 million or $0.40 loss per share as compared to $32.6 million or $0.26 loss per share in the second quarter of 2014. Net loss in the first half of 2015 was $18.8 million or $0.14 loss per share as compared to $78.8 million or $0.63 loss per share in the first half of 2014.

The company also announced the following upcoming presentations and events:

IASLC 16th World Congress on Lung Cancer, Denver, CO:

  • Abstract/Poster Title: “Etirinotecan Pegol (NKTR-102) in the Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) after Failure of 2nd Line Treatment: A Phase II study”, Aggarwal C., et al.
    • Date: September 9, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time

CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference, Translating Science into Survival 2015, New York, NY:

  • Abstract/Poster Title: “Antitumor activity of the CD122-biased immunostimulatory cytokine combined with immune checkpoint blockade requires innate and adaptive immunity”, Langowski, J., et al.
    • Date: September 18, 2015, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Nektar Investor and Analyst R&D Day, St. Regis Hotel, New York, NY:

Shares of Nektar Therapeutics closed today at $12.30, down $0.13 or 1.05%. NKTR has a 1-year high of $17.53 and a 1-year low of $9.51. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $12.29 and its 200-day moving average is $12.29.

On the ratings front, Roth Capital analyst Debjit Chattopadhyay maintained a Buy rating on NKTR, with a price target of $19, in a report issued on June 18. The current price target implies an upside of 54.5% from current levels.According to TipRanks.com, Chattopadhyay has a total average return of 32.0%, a 64.2% success rate, and is ranked #17 out of 3724 analysts.

Overall, 5 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $16.25 which is 29.1% above where the stock opened today.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. The Company develops a pipeline of drug candidates that utilizes its PEGylation and polymer conjugate technology platforms that are designed to developmolecular entities.