Why Jazz Pharmaceuticals shares rose 13.3% in March

What happened

Jazz Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ: JAZZ), which specializes in neuroscience and oncology therapies, saw its stock soar 13.3% in March, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock started the month at $135.93 and never looked back, hitting a high of $162.76 on March 25 and ending the month at $155.67, nearly $20 higher than ‘in the beginning.

Image source: Getty Images

So what

It’s easy to see the catalyst for the stock’s rise – an impressive fourth-quarter and annual report released on March 1 that also included encouraging indications for the rest of the year. The day after the report was released, the stock jumped 12.2%.

The biggest number driving the rise was Jazz’s 2021 revenue of $3.094 billion, up 31% from 2020. Most of that came from the neuroscience segment of the company with a $2.4 billion report, but both this segment and oncology ($734 million in revenue in 2021) had similar growth numbers.

Fourth quarter revenue was also strong with revenue of $897 million, a 35% year-over-year increase. The only down figure was the company’s GAAP earnings per share (EPS) loss of $5.52, partly due to higher expenses due to the company’s purchase of GW Pharmaceuticals for $7.2 billion. dollars in 2021.

The company’s forecast shows that it expects 2022 revenue to be between $3.46 billion and $3.66 billion, a 15% increase at the midpoint. He also said he expects 2022 EPS to be between $0.50 and $3.00.

Now what

There are good reasons for investor optimism towards Jazz, which could also be considered a cannabis stock due to its use of cannabinoids in certain therapies.

The company’s Oxybate narcolepsy drug franchise, Xywav and Xyrem, generated combined revenue of $1.8 billion in 2021, up 3% from 2020.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t approve Rylaze, an injectable chemotherapy drug to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoblastic lymphoma, until June 30, 2021, but Jazz said the drug has already generated $85.6 million. revenue in 2021, including $65 million. in the fourth trimester.

Jazz also has several promising drugs looking to expand their applications in phase 3 trials. This includes two cannabis compounds, nabiximols and cannabidiol. The first is an oral spray that combines THC and CBD and has been approved to treat multiple sclerosis pain and neuropathic pain, and is currently being studied to treat spasticity due to spinal cord injury and in patients with multiple sclerosis. Cannabidiol, already approved for seizures in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex, is currently being tested to treat epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures.

Jazz also has two oncology drugs in Phase 3 trials. Zepzelca has already been approved to treat metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC); it is being tested as a first-line treatment, combined with atezolizumab, to treat SCLC; and JZP351 is being tested for various applications in the fight against acute myeloid leukemia.

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Jim Halley has no position in the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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