Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) beat third-quarter expectations Thursday, helping VRTX stock shrug off some of the malaise that plagued it during the regular session.
In after-hours trading on today’s stock market, VRTX stock advanced roughly 2% and was trading near 293.50. Shares fell about 7.5% during the regular session. It was unclear what drove the dive, though it could possibly be related to an upcoming presentation from 4D Molecular Therapeutics (FDMT) for a cystic fibrosis treatment.
Today, Vertex is the de facto leader of the cystic fibrosis market. During the quarter ended Sept. 30, the company’s suite of medicines generated $2.33 billion in third-quarter sales. On a year-over-year basis, sales climbed 18% and beat forecasts for $2.23 billion.
The best growth came from the international segment, where $879 million in sales beat expectations for $760 million, RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams said in a report to clients. He noted reimbursement is improving in international markets, helping sales spike higher. He has a sector perform rating on VRTX stock.
VRTX Stock: Trikafta Cannibalization Continues
Vertex’s newest medicine, Trikafta, was the only of its four cystic fibrosis products to grow. Trikafta can treat roughly nine in 10 patients with the lung disease, so many patients are switching from Vertex’s older medicines to its newest drug. Trikafta sales rocketed 29% to $2.01 billion.
Meanwhile, adjusted profit also notched a quarterly beat, rising 14% to $4.01 per share. Analysts called for earnings of $3.61 a share.
“The third quarter marked another period of strong performance in the (cystic fibrosis) business and across the company,” Chief Executive Reshma Kewalramani said in a written statement.
But competition could be coming in cystic fibrosis. 4D Molecular is working on an aerosol treatment for the disease. That drug is currently in Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing. The company is also working on heart and eye disease treatments.
Vertex Raises Sales Outlook For 2022
Still, Vertex raised its guidance for the year. Now, the company expects its product sales — which discounts revenue from royalties and collaboration agreements — to grow 16% to a midpoint of $8.85 billion. Previously, the company guided to $8.6 billion to $8.8 billion in full-year sales.
“Despite some concerns about (cystic fibrosis) franchise maturity based on slowing prescription growth which we shared, international growth demonstrated that the core business still has some legs,” RBC’s Abrahams said.
VRTX stock analysts forecast adjusted profit of $14.14 per share and $8.79 billion in sales. The firm didn’t offer an earnings outlook.
Next, investors are looking for Vertex and Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP) to file for Food and Drug Administration approval of a CRISPR gene therapy-based treatment for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, both blood disorders.
The companies say they plan to begin submitting data to the FDA in November and expect to complete their submission by the end of the first quarter.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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