Celgene: Second Quarter Highlighted by Strong Operating Momentum

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On Thursday, Celgene reported total revenues of $1.87 billion, roughly in line with our estimate of $1.85 billion and the Street’s estimate of $1.8 billion. EPS of $0.90 were slightly better than our estimate of $0.87 and the Street’s estimate of $0.89. Second-quarter operating results were largely in line with evidence of very strong operating momentum. The second quarter marked the commercial debut of Otezla for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

While sales were below our expectations, we are encouraged by the demand metrics associated with the launch and believe that promotional initiatives associated with the launch adversely impacted reported sales levels. Our outlook remains positive on the drug, and we project sales of $143 million in 2014 to ramp to $1.83 billion in 2017. Our estimates remain high versus long-term management guidance and consensus. Notably, our EPS projections are over $1.26 higher than management guidance and $0.85 higher than consensus in 2017.

Full year 2014 guidance was boosted today and we have updated our financial projections to come more in line with operating trends. A number of catalysts are expected in the next 12-18 months. We expect significant visibility with Revlimid in the near term, as regulatory decisions in frontline multiple myeloma are expected in 2015, along with numerous Phase III trial readouts in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference has historically been a high-profile medical meeting for Celgene, and this year may include detailed data from a positive Phase III trial of Revlimid in population of myelodysplastic syndrome patients where the drug is currently not indicated. Lastly, we highlight GED-0301 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Recall that Celgene recently acquired this asset (which included a $710 million upfront payment), further underscoring Celgene’s long-term commitment to its inflammatory disease franchise. We expect Phase II data to be presented at a major medical meeting in late October and with results published in a leading medical journal by the end of the year. We reiterate our Outperform rating on Celgene shares.

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