J.P. Morgan Bearish on MannKind Corporation (MNKD) In Light of Recent Agreement With Sanofi

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) shares are on a close to 43% climb following the biotech firm’s announcement of an agreement reached with Sanofi on Afrezza, the firm’s inhaled insulin. Additionally, the firm’s posted its third-quarter report yesterday. Yet, J.P. Morgan analyst Cory Kasimov criticizes Afrezza as continuing to be “irrelevant in the marketplace” and is bearish after dismal revenue revealed in the financial print.

As such, the analyst reiterates an Underweight rating on shares of MNKD without suggesting a price target.

For the third quarter, MNKD hit sales of merely $0.6 million, a far cry from Bloomberg consensus expectations of $1.9 million and Kasimov’s loftier $2.2 million. EPS however did reach $0.26, compared to Bloomberg consensus calling for ($0.05) and the analyst’s estimate of ($0.06).

The results include $161.8 million of collaboration net revenue, which denotes a $150 million upfront payment and $50 million in milestone payments from Sanofi, net of $64.8 million of net loss share with Sanofi, along with $17.4 million in sales of Afrezza and $9.2 million in sales of raw insulin to Sanofi. Operating expenses (OpEx) hit $44.1 million, compared to the analyst’s estimate of $24.3 million.

Worthy of note in the agreement between Sanofi and MNKD is the intent to reach resolution on outstanding items from the past Afrezza partnership, in which Sanofi will “forgive” $71.6 million in an outstanding loan balance, $0.5 million in uncharged costs, and will purchase two insulin quantities from MNKD, including $10.2 million in early December and $30.6 million by January 9th. Secondly, the firm has declared an amendment to its supply agreement with Amphastar that will pull back on the contractual cash burn by a solid $55 million from the years 2016 through 2018 and will stall the next insulin purchase until the fourth quarter of 2017.

Kasimov opines, “The company also provided a detailed overview of commercial efforts it is taking to re-launch Afrezza. While we do commend MNKD’s commitment, we still don’t see a viable path forward for Afrezza. Indeed, while the abovementioned sources of cash provide non-dilutive liquidity to the company, we view this as a temporary band aid covering up a precarious balance sheet, especially with plans to hire their own salesforce next year.”

Overall, “The resolution of the Sanofi collaboration agreement (detail above), does reduce MNKD’s debt load by $71.6M and provides a cash infusion of $40.8M. That said, this modest balance sheet relief is temporary and we believe the company’s liquidity position will not be sufficient to support operations in the medium to long term,” Kasimov contends.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Cory Kasimov is ranked #4,045 out of 4,205 analysts. Kasimov has a 36% success rate and faces a 10.6% loss in his yearly returns. However, when recommending MNKD, Kasimov garners 56.7% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics indicate a Sell on MNKD. The 12-month average price target stands at $0.10, marking a nearly 85% downside from where the shares last closed.screen-shot-11-10-16-at-10-51-pm

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