Updated Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 06:32 AM
Biotechnology company Dendreon anticipates better-than-expected fourth-quarter adjusted revenue for its prostate cancer therapy Provenge.
The Seattle company said Monday that it foresees product revenue of about $81.6 million, excluding around $3.8 million in a favorable adjustment related to its chargebacks reserve.
Yaron Werber of Citi Investment Research said in a client note that the performance topped his $74 million estimate, but he was still taking a wait-and-see approach.
“While Provenge had a good quarter, sales may have benefited from a year-end effect, and we still remain cautious on the stock due to instability of the business, improving but poor margins and future competition,” the analyst wrote.
Werber said the solid fourth-quarter results for Provenge may not be sustainable in early 2013 particularly because Zytiga was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pre-chemo use.
Like Werber, Jefferies’ Biren Amin is worried about the increasing competition Provenge faces. The analyst maintained an “underperform” rating and $3.50 price target.
Dendreon said that Provenge is starting to be used more often in community oncology and urology practices.
The company said it has focused on boosting its community accounts, as it believes that provides the best long-term revenue opportunity. Community accounts made up 71 percent of total sales in the fourth quarter, compared with 58 percent in the prior-year period.
Academic accounts fell 9 percent from the previous quarter.
Werber was encouraged by the increase in community accounts, but expressed some concern that a drop-off in academic accounts could hurt new physician interest in Provenge in the future.
Dendreon stock fell 27 cents, or 4.5 percent, tp $5.74 Monday. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $3.69 to $17.04.