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Aerie's (AERI) Q3 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/Y

Aerie (AERI) incurs wider-than-expected loss in the third quarter of 2021 while sales match expectations.

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Aerie Pharmaceuticals AERI incurred a loss of 72 cents per share in the third quarter of 2021, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 62 cents as well as the year-ago loss of 65 cents.

- Zacks

Revenues came in at $29.3 million, which increased from $20.1 million in the year-ago quarter. The reported revenues were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Total revenues came from sales of two approved drugs — Rhopressa and Rocklatan.

The stock has declined 11.1% so far this year in comparison with the industry’s 12.9% decline.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Quarter in Detail

Wholesaler shipments totaled 328,000 bottles in the quarter under review, up from 306,000 bottles in the previous quarter.

We remind investors that the company’s first drug, Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) has been approved for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (“IOP”) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Aerie’s second drug, Rocklatan, a once-daily, quadruple-action, fixed-dose combination of Rhopressa and Pfizer’s PFE Xalatan, has been approved to reduce elevated IOP in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Rhopressa currently has market access for 92% of lives covered under Medicare Part D plans and an additional 4% of Medicare Part D lives through the U.S. government-funded Low Income Subsidiary (LIS) program. Rocklatan has market access for 74% of Medicare Part D lives and an additional 10% of remaining Medicare Part D lives through the LIS programs.

Total operating expenses (excluding stock-based compensation expenses) in the reported quarter were $47.5 million compared with $39 million in the year-ago quarter.

Recent Updates

In September, Aerie announced data from the phase IIb COMET-1 study, which evaluated its investigational therapy, AR-15512, in patients with dry eye disease. While the study achieved statistical significance over multiple pre-specified symptom and sign endpoints, it did not achieve all pre-determined primary endpoints with statistical significance. To complete the development of AR-15512, the company plans to initiate two phase III efficacy studies and a safety study in second-quarter 2022. However, the company will hold an end-of-phase II meeting with the FDA in first-quarter 2022 before commencing these studies.

The company is in discussions with potential collaborators to commercialize its glaucoma products in Europe and expects to enter into a collaboaration by 2021-end.

Investigational New Drug Application (IND)-enabling preclinical studies are underway for AR-14034 SR, a sustained-release implant containing the pan-VEGF inhibitor, axitinib, formulated in a unique bio-erodible polymer blend.  Aerie also expects to file an IND application for AR-6121, a ROCK inhibitor-linked steroid, in the second half of 2022.

Following discussions with both the FDA and the EMA to finalize a phase III strategy for its sustained-release retinal implant, AR-1105, Aerie now expects to begin phase III activities in first-half 2022, delayed from the earlier planned timeline of fourth-quarter 2021 due to supply chain issues.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Aerie currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the overall healthcare sector include Alkermes ALKS and Xencor XNCR, each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Estimates for Alkermes’ earnings per share for 2021 have increased from 61 cents to 68 cents in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has risen from $1.06 to $1.11 in the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 52.1% in the year so far.

Estimates for Xencor for 2021 have narrowed from a loss of 75 cents per share to 33 cents in the past 60 days. The same for 2022 has narrowed from $3.14 to $2.92 over the same period.

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