MannKind is scheduled to release its next earnings report about a month from now, and some analysts are already expecting a miss. The reason is because Wall Street may be expecting too many sales of the insulin maker’s first offering too early. As a result, many are turning bearish on the drug maker, but not all of them are.
Some see longer term potential catalysts in MannKind’s future.
Afrezza ramp moving slowly
RBC Capital Markets analyst Adnan Butt has been keeping close tabs on MannKind’s weekly prescription counts. He continues to rate MannKind as Outperform, although he reduced his price target from $13 to $10 per share.
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The analyst said the consensus estimate for Afrezza sales for the March quarter is about $3.9 million, which he said is based on an estimate of about $0.2 million from IMS. Butt added that this might end up being too much—unless the company builds up some inventory, reports Jayson Derrick of Benzinga.
The analyst also thinks the full year sales consensus estimate of $49 million could be too high because of the trajectory indicated by data from third parties. As a result, he slashed his sales estimates for Afrezza from $46 million to $5 million for this year. For next year, he reduced his estimate from $150 million to $118 million, and for 2019, he slashed his estimate from $845 million to $539 million.
He now expects sales of the inhaled insulin to peak somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion, which is again lower than the previous estimate of a $4 billion peak.
Still bullish on MannKind
The RBC Capital analyst continues to like MannKind even though he practically obliterated his sales estimates for the only drug the company has on the market currently. He thinks the concept of Afrezza is “elegant” and that it will eventually be big if the studies being conducted since regulators approved it are clean.
He also sees other reasons to like MannKind beyond just Afrezza. For example, MannKind plans to file for approval in the European Union this year, relying on its marketing partner Sanofi. Any visibility for the company’s inhaled insulin would certainly be a positive.
He also thinks more details on Afrezza since the approval could help expand the drug’s label. And finally, he sees the launch of the drug lasting in the next 12 to 18 months.
As of this writing, shares of MannKind were down 1.4% to $5.21 per share as the insulin makers continues to struggle to stay above $5 per share.