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Aerie (AERI) Rises Despite Q4 Earnings Miss, Revenues Top Mark

Shares of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AERI were up 16.3% on Friday after the company announced results for the fourth quarter of 2020 on Feb 25.

In fact, the stock has rallied 36.1% so far this year compared with the industry’s increase of 1.3%.

Aerie incurred a loss of 79 cents per share in the fourth quarter, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 75 cents but narrower than the year-ago loss of 96 cents.

Revenues came in at $24.7 million, which remained almost flat year over year and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $19 million. Total revenues came from sales of two approved drugs — Rhopressa and Rocklatan.

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.

Quarter in Detail

Wholesaler shipments totaled 307,000 bottles in the fourth quarter of 2020, more than 18% higher than 261,000 bottles in the third quarter of 2020.

Total operating expenses (excluding stock-based compensation expenses) in the fourth quarter were $44.8 million, down from the year-ago quarter’s $61.7 million.

Full-Year Results

For 2020, Aerie generated revenues of $83.1 million, reflecting a 19% increase year over year.

For the same period, the company reported adjusted loss of $3.12 per share compared with the year-ago adjusted loss of $3.40 per share.

Recent Updates

In January 2021, the European Commission granted marketing authorization to Roclanda (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure in adult patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension for whom monotherapy with a prostaglandin or netarsudil provides insufficient IOP reduction. The drug is marketed under the trade name Rocklatan in the United States. The nod from EU should boost the drug’s sales in future quarters.

We note that Aerie and Santen has an exclusive license agreement for the development and commercialization of Rhopressa and Rocklatan in Japan and several other Asian countries. The agreement includes an upfront payment of $50 million to Aerie. The first phase III study on Rhopressa is currently underway in Japan.

Also, in October 2020, Aerie commenced the COMET-1, a phase IIb study of AR-15512 for the treatment of patients with dry eye disease. Top-line data from the same is expected in the third quarter of 2021.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart
| Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Aerie currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. CANF and Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. OPHLF, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Can-Fite BioPharma’s loss per share estimates have narrowed 60.8% for 2021 over the past 60 days. The stock has rallied 14.6% year to date.

Ono Pharmaceutical’s earnings estimates have been revised 10.4% upward for 2021 over the past 60 days. The stock has risen 2.4% year to date.

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