Biogen Posts Q3 Beat and Raises Guidance

Biogen (BIIB) reported stronger-than-expected Q3 results, topping both earnings and revenue estimates. The company also raised its FY2021 guidance above analyst expectations.

However, shares of the multinational biotechnology company that develops, manufactures, and sells therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neurological diseases were flat following the results.

Markedly, adjusted earnings of $4.77 per share significantly beat analysts’ expectations of $4.11 per share. The company reported earnings of $5.64 per share in the prior-year period. (See Biogen stock charts on TipRanks)

Revenues declined 18% year-over-year to $2.78 billion but exceeded consensus estimates of $2.67 billion. The decrease in revenues reflected lower Multiple sclerosis revenue (down 19%), SPINRAZA revenue (down 10%), and Biosimilars revenue (down 2%).

The company stated that it has initiated the rolling submission for lecanemab (BAN2401) in Alzheimer’s disease, and also presented new data for aducanumab and BIIB080. Further, Phase 3 data has been reported for tofersen in SOD1 ALS. The company also plans to submit a New Drug Application for zuranolone for depression in the U.S.

In addition, it has received approval for BYOOVIZ, a biosimilar referencing LUCENTIS, in the U.S., E.U., and the U.K.

Biogen Raises FY2021 Outlook Despite Minimal ADUHELM Revenue

Going forward, Biogen expects minimal ADUHELM revenue in 2021, with a ramp-up expected thereafter. The company also expects decreased revenue from high-margin products TECFIDERA and RITUXAN in the U.S., which will reduce the overall gross margin compared to the prior-year period.

Despite minimal ADUHELM revenue and the above-mentioned assumptions, management raised its financial guidance for FY2021. The company now forecasts adjusted earnings in the range of $18.85 to $19.35 per share, while the consensus estimate is pegged at $18.61 per share. This compares to the prior guidance range of $17.50 – $19.00 per share. 

Furthermore, revenues are forecast to be in the range of $10.8 – 10.9 billion, versus the consensus estimate of $10.76 billion. Revenues were previously projected to be in the range of $10.65 – $10.85 billion.

Sharing his views on the coming months, Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos commented, “The potential uptake of ADUHELM in the U.S. is delayed, but we continue to believe in its long-term potential. At the same time, Biogen has continued to execute well across its leading MS, SMA and biosimilars businesses, and we are particularly encouraged by the ongoing launch of VUMERITY.”

He further added, “2021 continues to be a transformative year for Biogen with the launch of ADUHELM and the initiation of the rolling submission for lecanemab in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, along with Sage Therapeutics we are pursuing a filing for zuranolone in depression.”

Following the quarterly results, Cowen analyst Phil Nadeau decreased the price target on Biogen to $375 (40.7% upside potential) from $450 and reiterated a Buy rating.

Nadeau attributed the cut in his price target to reduced Aduhelm revenue projections. He stated, “As expected, Aduhelm had minimal Q3 sales ($0.3MM) and its revenue is expected to be modest at least until the April NCD brings some clarity to reimbursement.”

Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 12 Buys and 9 Holds. The average Biogen price target of $366.50 implies 37.5% upside potential.

TipRanks data shows that financial blogger opinions are 93% Bullish on Biogen, compared to a sector average of 71%.

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