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Vertex Stock Muted After Beating Quarterly Views; What Could Spark Shares?

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) easily cleared Wall Street’s first-quarter projections Thursday — prodding up VRTX stock marginally in after-hours action.




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During the quarter, Vertex earned $2.98 per share, minus certain items, on $1.72 billion in sales. Earnings popped 16% and sales climbed 14%. Both measures topped forecasts for adjusted profit of $2.70 per share on $1.66 billion in sales.

The biotech company’s bread-and-butter products treat cystic fibrosis. Its newest drug is Trikafta, which treats 90% of patients with the lung disease. Trikafta sales surged 123% to $1.19 billion. Its other three CF drugs declined, however, as Trikafta preference took over.

“In CF, our goal is that all eligible patients have access to and can benefit from (drugs in the class of) CFTR modulators,” Chief Executive Reshma Kewalramani said in a written statement. “In the first quarter, we continued to make significant progress towards this goal, and in so doing again delivered strong revenue and earnings growth.”

In after-hours trading on the stock market today, VRTX stock inched up a fraction near 212.

VRTX Stock Down This Year

Investors in VRTX stock are now watching to see if Vertex can complete its pivot into new disease areas. The company is working on several genetic diseases like alpha-a antitrypsin deficiency, a disorder of the liver and lungs. It’s also testing a diabetes treatment.

To this end, Vertex has a partnership with Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP), working in blood diseases. Any pipeline updates for these drugs could spark VRTX stock, which has fallen more than 10% year-to-date as of Thursday’s close.

For the year, Vertex reiterated its guidance for $6.7 billion to $6.9 billion in product sales. This excludes other sources of revenue. Analysts called for Vertex earnings of $11.19 per share on $6.94 billion in sales.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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