This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Avanir Pharma: Nuedexta Sales Launch Slow

Stocks in this article: AVNR

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR) is finding the launch of its new drug Nuedexta to be slow going.

Nuedexta gross sales totaled $505,000 for the fiscal second quarter ended March 31, Avanir reported Monday night. Avanir executives expressed optimism about Nuedexta's launch considering marketing didn't kick off until February and over 1,000 new prescriptions for the drug have been written through the end of March.

Investors and analysts were expecting better results and are now expressing concerns that Nuedexta prescriptions aren't growing as fast as they could.

Avanir shares were down 26 cents, or 6%, to $3.86 Tuesday as analysts cut near-term Nuedexta sales forecasts and reduced price targets while maintaining hopeful optimism that the drug could still hit long-term peak sales forecasts.

Nuedexta was approved last year as the first-ever treatment for pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a relatively obscure neurological condition that causes patients to experience uncontrollable bouts of laughter and crying. PBA can be associated with patients suffering from multiple sclerosis or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

"Nuedexta's launch has been more challenging than we forecast, but we still strongly believe in the drug's ultimate commercial potential and still anticipate peak annual US sales of $350 million and EU sales of $300 million, wrote Cannaccord Genuity analyst Ritu Baral in a Tuesday morning note to clients.

Baral, however, cut her Avanir price target to $6 from $10 after sharply lowering projected Nuedexta sales for 2011 and 2012 by 88% and 81%, respectively. Baral maintained her peak sales estimate for Nuedexta but pushed out the timing of that estimate by two years.

Wedbush analyst Greg Wade said Nuedexta sales in the quarter beat his estimate, but that's only because he whacked his forecast last Friday.

Wade had been forecasting Nuedexta end-user sales of $1.6 million for the fiscal second quarter but reduced that estimate to $400,000 on Friday due to weaker-than-expected prescriptions. Wade also cut his fiscal year Nuedexta sales estimate but maintained his $13 price target on Avanir.

"We believe that physicians are experimenting with Nuedexta therapy on a limited basis and anticipate positive results to lead to broader prescribing. Given that PBA is a condition for which no approved therapies existed prior to Nuedexta and that physicians generally may not screen for PBA, we would expect this launch to take some time to accelerate; current script growth is not surprising, in our opinion," wrote Wade in a Tuesday note to clients.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,914.55 +109.75 0.62%
S&P 500 2,075.76 +5.11 0.25%
NASDAQ 4,777.7890 +12.4090 0.26%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs