Shares of GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) surged on Wednesday following the company's second-quarter earnings announcement that revealed sales of its marijuana-derived epilepsy drug more than doubled, prompting two analysts to boost their stock-price targets.
GW Pharma said sales of its cannabis-derived epilepsy drug Epidiolex more than doubled from the previous quarter, ringing in at $68.4 million, well above analysts' forecasts of $40.9 million.
The sales reflected "... high demand by U.S. patients, increased prescribing by health care providers, and ongoing progress in payer-coverage determinations," GW Pharma CEO Justin Glover said in a statement.
In response, GW Pharma stock jumped more than 12%, or $18.59, to $171.01 in premarket trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Wednesday. The shares were up 5.73%, or $8.74, at $161.16 in early trading.
Epifiolex uses cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis plants that is being used to treat certain forms of epilepsy.
The numbers prompted analysts at both Stifel Nicolaus and Oppenheimer to lift their one-year stock-price targets on GW Pharma stock. Stifel Nicolaus raised its price target to $228 from $227 while Oppenheimer raised its price target to $239 from $234.
Meantime, analysts at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch reiterated their buy rating on the stock.
GW Pharma reported net income of $79.8 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with a loss of $84 million, or 25 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose to $72 million from $3.3 million in the year-ago period.
Analysts polled by FactSet had estimated overall earnings of 1 cent a share on revenue of $47 million.