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Needham Maintains Hold Rating On VIVUS, Inc. Amid 4Q14 Results


In a research report released today, Needham analyst Alan Carr maintained a Hold rating on VIVUS, Inc.(NASDAQ:VVUS), following the company’s fourth-quarter results, posting $12.7 million in U.S. Qsymia sales, in line with Needham’s $13.0 million estimate. Total Stendra/Spendra revenues to Vivus were $9.0 million, compared to Needham’s $5.4M estimate. No price target was provided.

Carr noted, “Qsymia sales increased only modestly over the course of 2014. Consumer awareness of the new branded weight loss agents is relatively low, particularly with respect to Qsymia. We believe emphasis on the consumer, rather than the healthcare provider, is more likely to have an impact on sales. Although the company continues to search for a commercial partner for Qsymia, we believe an agreement under attractive terms may be a challenge.”

Furthermore, “Management continues to discuss Qsymia CVOT trial (AQCLAIM) design with regulators. No guidance was provided with respect to timing. We assume a trial initiation in mid-2015. A key challenge is satisfying both the FDA and EMA around plans to conduct an interim analysis to support an MAA submission without compromising integrity of the trial.”

Analyst Alan Carr has a total average return of 43.1% and a 75.0% success rate. Carr has a -11.0% average return when recommending VVUS, and is ranked #6 out of 3483 analysts, according to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform,