Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) Down 24.5% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

·3 min read

A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS). Shares have lost about 24.5% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.

Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Ionis Pharmaceuticals due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.

Q3 Earnings & Revenues Fall Short of Estimates

Ionis reported third-quarter 2021 loss per share of 58 cents, which was wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 53 cents. In the year-ago period, the company had incurred a loss of 18 cents per share.

The bottom line includes expenses related to the Akcea acquisition and restructured European and North American operations and other items. Excluding these non-recurring expenses, the loss per share was 34 cents per share. In the year-ago quarter, it had recorded earnings of 9 cents per share.

Ionis reported total revenues of $133 million, down 16.9% year over year due to lower R&D as well as commercial revenues. Sales missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $160 million.

Quarter in Detail

Ionis earns commercial revenues, primarily royalty payments on net sales of Spinraza and R&D revenues from partnered medicines.

Commercial revenues were $85 million in the third quarter, down 10.5% year over year.

Commercial revenues from Spinraza royalties were $67 million, down 9.5% year over. Revenues from Tegsedi and Waylivra from distribution fees were $15 million compared with $19 million in the year-ago quarter. License and royalty revenues were $3 million in the quarter compared with $2 million in the year-ago quarter.

R&D revenues of $48 million declined 26.2% from the year-ago quarter. Ionis expects R&D revenues to be higher in the fourth quarter than the third as its partnered programs are advancing.

Adjusted operating costs rose 22.5% year over year to $185 million in the third quarter mainly driven by higher R&D costs as the company rapidly advanced its wholly-owned late-stage pipeline. The SG&A expenses decreased in the quarter due to cost efficiencies realized from integrating Akcea and restructuring commercial operations.

2021 Guidance

Ionis maintained its 2021 total revenue guidance of more than $600 million. Its adjusted net loss is expected to be less than $100 million.

Adjusted operating expense is expected to be in the range of $710 million to $750 million. R&D costs are expected to increase in the fourth quarter as olezarsen and donidalorsen phase III studies get underway.

How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?

It turns out, estimates revision have trended upward during the past month. The consensus estimate has shifted 149.69% due to these changes.

VGM Scores

At this time, Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a poor Growth Score of F, however its Momentum Score is doing a lot better with an A. However, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.

Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.


Estimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. Notably, Ionis Pharmaceuticals has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.

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