Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat neglected chronic liver diseases, reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015. Intercept will hold a conference call and audio webcast today at 9:45 a.m. ET to review this information. Conference call details are provided below.
First Quarter 2015 Financial Results
Intercept reported a net loss of $39.4 million, or $1.78 per share, for the first quarter of 2015 compared to a net loss of $246.0 million, or $12.61 per share, for the first quarter of 2014. Net loss for the first quarter of 2015 included non-cash expenses totaling $10.9 million including $9.7 million of stock-based compensation expense. Net loss for the first quarter of 2014 included non-cash expenses totaling $234.7 million comprised primarily of a non-cash warrant revaluation expense of $226.6 million and other non-cash expenses of $8.0 million, including stock-based compensation expense of $7.4 million.
Research and development expenses increased to $28.0 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $14.3 million for the first quarter of 2014, primarily as a result of an increase in i) activities in the development program for obeticholic acid (OCA) related to the work necessary for the New Drug Application and Marketing Authorization Application filings for OCA for the treatment of PBC, which are planned to be completed during the second quarter of 2015, ii) personnel expenses supporting increased activities, iii) activities associated with research and discovery initiatives, and iv) expenses for the INT-767 program as Intercept intends to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial with this product candidate at the end of 2015.
General and administrative (G&A) expenses increased to $13.1 million for the first quarter of 2015, compared to $5.7 million for the comparable period in the previous year, primarily as a result of increased pre-commercial activities and the increase in personnel in support of these initiatives. The $7.4 million increase in G&A expenses includes an increase of $2.3 million in non-cash stock-based compensation compared to the first quarter of 2014.
Intercept recorded a $226.6 million non-cash charge related to the periodic revaluation of a warrant liability in the first quarter of 2014 primarily attributable to the significant increase in the market price of Intercept’s common stock in that period. In connection with equity financings prior to its initial public offering, Intercept had issued warrants that were classified as liabilities and were adjusted to fair value on a quarterly basis with the change in fair value being included in net loss. The amount included in net loss was a non-cash item as Intercept was not required to expend any cash to settle the warrant liability. On April 10, 2014, all warrants outstanding as of March 31, 2014 were exercised on a cashless basis and converted into shares of Intercept common stock. As such, the Company recorded a final adjustment of approximately $56 million in non-cash income in the second quarter of 2014 and no further revaluations are necessary.
As of March 31, 2015, Intercept had cash, cash equivalents and investment securities available for sale of approximately $402.0 million, compared to $239.7 million as of December 31, 2014, primarily due to the completion of a follow-on public offering of 1,150,000 shares of common stock in February 2015 resulting in net proceeds of approximately $191.6 million. In April 2015, Intercept completed an underwritten public offering of 1,330,865 shares of common stock. Net proceeds to Intercept are estimated to be approximately $366.8 million, after deducting estimated offering expenses. (Original Source)
Shares of Intercept closed last Friday at $276.52 . ICPT has a 1-year high of $349.08 and a 1-year low of $128.50. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $273.67 and its 200-day moving average is $212.26.
On the ratings front, Intercept has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 23, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos reiterated a Buy rating on ICPT, with a price target of $493, which implies an upside of 78.3% from current levels. Separately, on March 27, Nomura’s Ian Somaiya reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $440.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Liana Moussatos and Ian Somaiya have a total average return of 38.8% and 29.7% respectively. Moussatos has a success rate of 56.5% and is ranked #14 out of 3596 analysts, while Somaiya has a success rate of 72.1% and is ranked #52.
The street is mostly Bullish on ICPT stock. Out of 13 analysts who cover the stock, 11 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $416.15, which represents a potential upside of 50.5% from where the stock is currently trading.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic liver disease utilizing its proprietary bile acid chemistry.