Earnings Analysis: Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS)

Stock Ratings: 1 = buy at current stock prices, 2 = buy on a 5-10% dip in stock price, 3 = sell on a 5-10% increase in stock price, 4 = sell at current stock prices to raise cash.  Ratings are based upon 12-18 month outlook on stock direction and not necessarily related to moves I make due to financial positioning.

Last week Ionis Pharmaceuticals announced their first quarter results.  The results were rather uneventful, as they posted a $-0.52 loss on earnings of $36.9M.  This was a two cent miss on earnings, but a $0.7M beat on revenues.  Everything was in line with expectations and cash was still over the $700M mark.  Progress continues on all of their phase 3 drugs and we didn't learn much more about the test that was put on clinical hold by the FDA other than the questions raised were regarding platelet counts.

As I've stated, this will continue to be a volatile and beaten down stock.  There's too much political pressure on pricing due to the current US elections, despite how much management wanted to stress appropriate pricing in their call.  Add into that the fact that phase 3 results won't be seen until 2017, and we're looking at a situation where no real catalysts exists, pending some big results from something earlier in the pipeline.  I don't expect any profits from the company and based on market conditions, I feel I need to lower my price target to $50 as well.  Biotech stocks just don't have the sizzle, they once did and probably won't until we know more about the elections.  Don't be in a rush for the stock, there's no hurry.

Nothing on this site should be taken as advice, research, or an invitation to buy or sell any securities.  All views expressed are solely of my own and I am not a professional money manager.  Please consult with your financial adviser before taking any action in your own portfolio.