Drug maker Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) reported a beat and raise this quarter both on the top and bottom-line for Q3 2017.
During the quarter, Vertex’s total sales of cystic fibrosis drugs grew 34% vs. the year-earlier quarter to $549.6 million. Sales of Orkambi comprised nearly two-thirds of that total with Kalydeco bringing in the balance.
For the third-quarter ended September 30, total sales and EPS of $544 million and $0.53 came above consensus estimates of $518 million and $0.36, respectively. Beats from both Orkambi and Kalydeco contributed to the strong performance.
Looking ahead, Vertex increased its 2017 CF guidance for both Orkambi and Kalydeco based on strong underlying demand in new patient segments.
In terms of clinical updates, the Phase 3 study of Orkambi in ages 2-5 met its primary endpoint whereas a Phase 3 study of tez/iva in gating mutations and a Phase 2 VX-371 failed to meet their primary endpoints.
Vertex CEO Jeffrey Leiden commented, “Vertex has never been stronger than it is today with significant progress across all aspects of our business […] We are now treating more patients with our approved medicines than ever before, resulting in significant revenues and earnings growth. We expect this financial trajectory to continue, driven by our pipeline of transformative CF medicines.” Leiden continued, “We look forward to continued progress in 2018 with the anticipated approval of our third CF medicine, and advancement into pivotal development of our portfolio of triple combination regimens, which have the potential to treat nearly all CF patients in the future.”
Shares of Vertex are down nearly 3% to $142.01 in after-hours trading Wednesday. VRTX has a 1-year high of $167.86 and a 1-year low of $71.46. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $153.75 and its 200-day moving average is $138.51.
On the ratings front, Vertex has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 20, BMO analyst Do Kim reiterated a Buy rating on VRTX, with a price target of $189, which represents a potential upside of 26% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on October 18, RBC’s Brian Abrahams reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $181.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Do Kim and Brian Abrahams have a yearly average return of 32.4% and 8.7% respectively. Kim has a success rate of 83% and is ranked #170 out of 4703 analysts, while Abrahams has a success rate of 55% and is ranked #502.
Overall, 13 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $188.64 which is 25.7% above where the stock opened today.
Vertex engages in the business of discovering, developing, manufacturing and commercializing small molecule drugs for patients with serious diseases. It focuses on development and commercializing therapies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis; infectious diseases, including viral infections, such as influenza, and bacterial infections; autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis; cancer, inflammatory bowel disease; and neurological disorders, including pain, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.