Cowen Sings the Praises of Exelixis, Inc. (EXEL) Following Robust First Full Quarter of Cabometyx Sales

As Exelixis, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:EXEL) “impressive launch continues” for its pipeline drug Cabometyx, approved to treat second-line advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, shares are surging almost 14% following yesterday’s third-quarter print. With every expectation that the biotech firm’s pipeline will continue to benefit shares, Eric Schmidt at Cowen chimes in with a bullish forecast, reiterating an Outperform rating on shares of EXEL without listing a price target.

The analyst underscores, “Management noted that Cabometyx quickly captured share in academic practices and is now gaining traction among community oncologists (+150% Q3/Q2 growth in unique prescribers). Exelixis cited third party research that shows Cabometyx is capturing 19% of new patients in 2nd-line RCC. Within the oral TKI class, Cabometyx is the most frequently prescribed drug in 2nd-line RCC. In the 3rd-line RCC setting, Cabometyx holds a 35% new patient market share and is the market leader across all drug classes.”

Ultimately, “Cabometyx’s strong launch in 2nd-line RCC continued with first full quarter sales of $31.2MM (vs. consensus of ~$27MME). Exelixis intends to submit a sNDA for intermediate- and poor-risk 1st-line RCC patients after validating data from the CABOSUN trial, a likely 2017 event. We expect EXEL shares to Outperform as Cabometyx, and Cotellic progress developmentally and commercially,” Schmidt concludes.

In its third quarter, EXEL posted total revenue of $62.2MM, heavily beating the Street’s expectation for $43MME. Additionally, other revenues reached $19.5MM thanks to a one-time milestone from Daiichi to the tune of $15MM for CS-3150, the firm’s non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist for the treatment of essential hypertension. Third-quarter net losses of $11.3MM also performed better than what the analyst expected at $3.9MME, thanks to reigned in spending. For 2016, EXEL cut its operating expenses (OpEx) guidance from a range of $250MM to $270MM to approximately $245MM. The firm closed the quarter with $380MM in cash coupled with $200MM in debt.

As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, five-star analyst Eric Schmidt is ranked #297 out of 4,164 analysts. Schmidt has a 36% success rate and garners 9.4% in his annual returns. When rating EXEL, Schmidt realizes 85.1% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit EXEL as a Strong Buy. Out of 6 analysts polled by TipRanks, all 6 are bullish on Exelixis stock. With a return potential for 52%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $17.75.

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