Analysts Weigh In On Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Following 2Q:15 Results

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) reported  second-quarter financial results yesterday and provided an update on its ongoing US launch of its dialysis drug, Auryxia. The Boston-based company reported “progress” in the launch of Auryxia, including expanded insurance coverage in the U.S., success in contacting potential prescribers and likely European approval in coming months.

Keryx reported Auryxia sales of just $1.8 million in the second quarter since the drug’s launch. That made up most of the company’s $2.5 million in revenue for the three-month period, which was below the average analyst estimates of $2.9 million. On the other hand, the company reported in-line EPS of $0.26.

Jonathan Aschoff of Brean Capital weighed in yesterday, reiterating a Buy rating while downgrading his price target from $26 to $22, noting that “Keryx is substantially undervalued.”

The analyst wrote he expects more “meaningful Auryxia sales to come in 2H15 and for revenue to be more in line with what is suggested by prescription data, given that voucher issuance is substantially lower.” He continues that “Japanese royalties are booked one quarter in arrears so the strong 1Q15 FX headwind contributed to a seemingly flat sequential royalty booked in 2Q15, and Riona sales were up 37% sequentially in 2Q15.” Furthermore, GPM for the second quarter was approximately 93%, “and Keryx reaffirmed that GPM should remain in the 80-85% range for 2015 and further improve in the future.”

Aschoff notes that sales growth for Auryxia was “slower-than-expected,” and that Keryx will continue to raise “awareness of physicians and patients.”

When measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark, Jonathan Aschoff has an overall success rate of 52% recommending stocks, earning a +11.9% average return per recommendation, according to TipRanks.

Similarly, Arlinda Lee of MLV &Co. weighed in with bullish sentiments on August 5, reiterating a Buy rating and $25 price target.

The analyst noted, “Despite plans to hire an additional 30 sales reps by YE, KERX continues to guide to OpEx of $25-35M per quarter for the remainder of 2015.” He continues “KERX ended 2Q15 with $131.3M in cash and equivalents, which we estimate is sufficient into 2016.” He concludes, “We continue to expect a gradual Auryxia launch as KERX garners reimbursement access, conveys the differentiated Auryxia message, and reaches top target prescribers.”

When measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark, Arlinda Lee has an overall success rate of 52% recommending stocks, earning a +6.5% average return per recommendation.

Out of 6 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 month, 5 analysts are bullish on Keryx and 1 is neutral. The average 12-month price target for Keryx is $18.33, marking a 144.07% potential upside from where stock is currently trading. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Keryx is a Moderate Buy.

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