MannKind Corporation (MNKD): Analyst Oren Livnat Looks Forward to More Afrezza Prescription Growth In Spite of Rocky 3Q Performance


MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) shares may have initially taken around an 8% hit in the market after releasing a third quarter print with Afrezza sales that missed consensus expectations by approximately $1 million, one voice on Wall Street paints a different bullish tale.

As far as H.C. Wainwright analyst Oren Livnat assesses the MNKD picture, Afrezza sales reveal a “warming commercial demand” that leave him believing there is a lot of opportunity for future gains to come into play.

With market research uncovering 98% of patients with diabetes not even aware the inhaled insulin was on the market, “there is obviously all the room for upside,” predicts the bull, who after the “upbeat” update maintains a Buy rating on MNKD stock with a $7 price target, which implies a 115% increase from current levels. (To watch Livnat’s track record, click here)

From this bull’s eyes, commercial uptake just keeps getting better (Afrezza posted $2.8 million in gross sales and $2 million in net sales for the quarter) and with the biotech company’s recent roughly $60 million raise, as plans for a television and digital marketing direct-to-consumer (DTC) campaign have taken a step forward. In fact, take a look at this week, where ads will “already” be rolling across leading networks in nine “pilot” markets.

Livnat surmises with enthusiasm for MannKind’s future: “If the company is right about the promotion-sensitive nature of the product, and its ad targeting is right, then we should hopefully see an impact on scripts within six weeks. Though MannKind currently recognizes revenue based on Symphony Rx pullthrough demand, it may switch to wholesaler sell-through in 1Q18, and it highlighted that shipments are running at $24M gross sales, which is already a bit ahead of our 4Q17 estimates and on track for our 1Q18 projections. Lastly, MannKind highlighted that its recapitalization efforts are ongoing, and it hopes to ink ex-US deals relatively near term, perhaps do a co-promote at some point, and continue to restructure the debt. We look forward to continued Rx growth, and potential superior head-to-head data vs. injectable insulins in the STAT study in 1H18.”

Shares have already recovered the roughly 8% loss in valuation today, so perhaps investors have decided to stick around to see what is in store next with the company’s diabetes asset.

However, not everyone is as confident on this biotech player. According to TipRanks, based on 4 analysts polled in the last 12 months, only 1 analyst is a bull when it comes to MNKD stock’s prospects, with 1 sidelined and 2 bearish on the stock. The 12-month average price target stands at $3.77, marking a nearly 16% increase from where the shares last closed.

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