MannKind Is Still Too Heavy to Avoid the Afrezza Crash Landing

A leaky hot-air balloon.

That's MannKind (MNKD) . The financial moves announced Wednesday were little more than throwing ballast overboard. The company may stay afloat a bit longer, but there's nothing it can do to prevent the inevitable crash landing.

Mannkind started selling Afrezza inhaled insulin on July 25. In what amounts to just over two months, net sales for the third quarter were $573,000. The cost of goods sold during the same period were $4.2 million. Mannkind's gross margin was negative 633%.

But MannKind bulls -- the rainbow-hued unicorns of the investment world -- believe the company's marketing efforts are only getting started. In the next weeks and months, Afrezza sales will increase and the gross margin will improve, they say.

Maybe, but the facts suggest otherwise.

There are fewer things on earth flatter than Afrezza sales since MannKind took over marketing. Go ahead if you want to give the company credit for stopping the steep slide in Afrezza prescriptions, but that just means the hole isn't getting any deeper.

This chart actually minimizes MannKind's problem because it starts at the beginning of 2016. Sanofi (SNY) , MannKind's dearly departed marketing partner, began selling Afrezza in February 2015, so almost an entire year earlier. NOT selling Afrezza would be more accurate. The product has been available to diabetics for almost two years. Failing.

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