NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Akorn (AKRX) surged 11.81% to $51.88 on heavy volume in midday trading today after the pharmaceuticals company reported preliminary fourth quarter results that beat analysts' estimates.
The Lake Forest, IL-based company reported fourth quarter non-GAAP adjusted earnings of 50 cents a share on revenue of $227.8 million, which beat the average of analysts' estimates for earnings of 45 cents on revenue of $218.87 million, according to data compiled by Reuters.
Non-GAAP diluted EPS for the full year 2014 was $1.16 on revenue of $601.9 million, also surpassing estimates of $1.13 in earnings but short of revenue estimates of $632.92 million. Annual revenue included $52.2 million of costs associated with "competitive pricing actions" during the second half of the year, the company said.
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"2014 was a transformative and rewarding year for Akorn," CEO Raj Rai said. "In a short period of time we have built a robust and well-diversified specialty generics platform that will provide future growth opportunities through a growing pipeline of products and a reliable acquisition strategy. I remain confident in the long term prospects of our business," Rai added.
For 2014, Akorn highlighted several achievements. The company said it received 14 unique product approvals, representing a combined IMS annual market size of $850 million. Akorn launched five of these products in 2014 and expects to be in a position to launch the remaining nine products approved in 2014 throughout 2015.
In early October, Akorn acquired rights to Xopenex Inhalation Solution from Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, adding a leading established respiratory product to its portfolio.
Akorn also acquired five marketed and four pipeline veterinary products from Lloyd, Inc. in October, supplementing Akorn's growing presence in the veterinary market.
Akorn expects 2015 net revenue between $960 million and $980 million, representing growth of at least 47% from non-GAAP adjusted full year 2014 revenue. Full year 2015 non-GAAP adjusted diluted EPS is expected to be between $1.88 and $1.98, representing growth of at least 62% from full year 2014 non-GAAP adjusted EPS levels.
About 2.73 million shares changed hands by 12:15 p.m. in New York, compared to the average of 1.52 million.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AKORN INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate AKORN INC (AKRX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and premium valuation."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: AKRX Ratings Report