Swine Flu Antiviral Helps BioCryst Crush Estimates in Q4 (BCRX, NVS, SNY, RHHBY, SVA, APT, GNBT, INO, NVAX)
While select swine flu players have seen their pops and drops, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) may have emerged as the small-cap champion of the 2009 pandemic.
Birmingham, Alabama-based biopharmaceutical small-cap BioCryst Pharmaceuticals is shooting higher today after topping fourth-quarter EPS consensus by 26 cents. The company earned $15.2 million or 35 cents a share in the three months ended December 31, and total revenue spiked by 60% to $54.9 million. BioCryst’s intravenous H1N1 antiviral, peramivir, was credited with $22.5 million of the firm’s Q4 revenue after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ordered 10,000 courses and the company earned a $7 million milestone payment from partner Shionogi & Co.
BioCryst president and CEO John Stonehouse said, “We ended 2009 with a strong balance sheet and greater financial flexibility to advance our programs.” Stonehouse noted that peramivir was the company’s first revenue-generating discovery, as well as the first to receive marketing authorization from health officials.
A look at the Swine and Bird Flu Stocks Index’s performance chart shows that the sector dropped off substantially when H1N1 hype subsided last fall. Over the last six months, large-cap players Novartis (NVS), Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), and Roche (OTC: RHHBY) are among top performers, but select small-caps are still hanging onto significant gains.
Sinovac Biotech (SVA), whose H1N1 vaccine was the first to receive Chinese regulatory approval, has been on a consistent, albeit volatile decline since September. However, the stock remains more than 500% off its 52-week low.
Alpha Pro Tech (APT), which surged higher on swine flu-driven sales of its N95 particulate respirator masks, is also well off its highs. Still, investors who bought in near the stock’s 2009 low are ahead by more than 300%. The company’s ability to capitalize on future outbreaks is as simple as putting mask production into overdrive, and as such it is one of the most nimble pandemic plays out there.
Generex Biotechnology (GNBT), Inovio Biomedical (INO), and Novavax (NVAX) are also more than 300% off their 52-week lows after swine flu hype lifted the stocks, and supplemental pops related to other products have kept them afloat. Meanwhile, investors who bought any of the three near their 2009 highs are off by at least -45%.
As a whole, the Swine and Bird Flu Stocks Index is one of the top-20 performing tickerspy Indexes over the last week.
Investors can track the Swine and Bird Flu Stocks Index for performance trends and a suite of other metrics at tickerspy.com.
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Top H1N1 Drug Companies Performance: Effective Marketing (Shocked Investor, 11/9/09)
H1N1 BioCryst (BCRX) Alert: Stock May Soar or Crash, Straddles (Shocked Investor, 9/21/09)
Stock To Watch – BioCryst (Navivest Stocks and Options Blog, 9/15/09)
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