Sarah Roden

About the Author Sarah Roden

Sarah writes about stock market news for TipRanks. She graduated as member of Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia.

MannKind Corporation Disappoints with Afrezza Sales; Analysts Lower Expectations

MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) reported first quarter 2015 results on May 7, revealing underwhelming sales and a mediocre Afrezza launch. Shares of MannKind last closed at $4.02, just above the 52-week low of $3.52. Some analysts are beginning to doubt if the company can make a comeback.

The biotechnology company posted a net loss per share of $(0.08); slightly narrower loss than the consensus of $(0.09) and an improvement from $(0.14) in the same quarter of last year. MannKind did not provide a revenue figure but the analyst consensus for quarterly revenue was $6.29 million.

The focus of the earnings report was Afrezza; a rapid-acting inhalable insulin for adults with diabetes produced by both MannKind and Sanofi. Though Afrezza is just beginning its commercial launch, Sanofi’s recent quarterly earnings revealed that the inhalable insulin only brought in $1.1 million in the first quarter—far-below the analyst estimate of $3 million to $4 million. MannKind anticipated the weak sales were due to the low number of prescriptions. However, MannKind executive chairman Alfred Mann pointed out that Sanofi’s reported revenue for Afrezza “really covered only a portion of the quarter, since the launch only started in February.”

Mann acknowledged that Afrezza’s launch “may be getting off to a slower start” than anticipated, but MannKind expects to see an acceleration in sales. Mann added that “the potential diabetes market is enormous and Afrezza will fill a substantial need.” Analysts and executives pointed to the positive response from people with diabetes who have used Afrezza.

Now, MannKind owes $12.4 million as its portion of the loss arrangement with Sanofi. MannKind financed the loss under Sanofi’s loan facility and there is $15.4 million outstanding under the loan facility.

According to Smarter Analyst, analyst Joshua Schimmer of Piper Jaffray maintained a Neutral rating on MannKind on May 8 and lowered his price target from $7.00 to $3.50. Though MannKind revealed that Afrezza’s launch fell below expectations, Schimmer pointed out that “Afrezza is well-received by patients who are able to get it, but access is a limiting step.” Schimmer commented, “[MannKind] is optimistic that measures to improve access and initiating therapy without hassle will lead to an acceleration of uptake and that deploying its technology for new pipeline programs will create value, which will be needed for shares to stabilize and/or appreciate.” However, the analyst is lowering his price target due to concerns regarding MannKind’s “financial position increase.”

On average, the top analyst consensus for MannKind on TipRanks is Hold.

Joshua Schimmer has rated MannKind 7 times since January 2010, though he has only given Sell and Hold ratings. Schimmer has earned a 50% success rate recommending the stock with a +8.1% average return when measured over a three month period. Schimmer has rated many biotechnology stocks in the past such as Amgen, Inc. (NSADQA:AMGN) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD).

Schimmer has rated Amgen 12 times since October 2009, earning a 67% success rate recommending the company with a +5.7% average return per AMGN rating when measured over three months. Separately, Schimmer has rated Gilead Sciences 9 times since February 2011, earning a 67% success rate recommending the stock with a +5.1% average return per GILD rating when measured over three months.

Overall, Schimmer has a 60% overall success rate recommending stocks with a +13.2% average return per rating when measured over one year.

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