Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. Vertex Pharmaceuticals is engaged in the business of discovering, developing and commercializing small molecule drugs for the treatment of serious diseases.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 82 cents per share, a swing from a loss of 91 cents in the year earlier quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 89 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from 95 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of 17 cents per share, a swing from net loss of $3.53 last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last two quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped the forecasts by 38 cents, reporting profit of 57 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 19 cents. In the second quarter, the company exceeded forecasts by 11 cents with a loss of 82 cents versus a mean estimate of net loss of 93 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 704.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $527.4 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Vertex Pharmaceuticals as nine analysts rate it as a buy, none rate it as a sell and nine rate it as a hold. Over the past 90 days, the average rating for the stock has moved up from hold to moderate buy.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, the company swung to a profit of $221.1 million ($1.02 a share) from a loss of $209 million ($1.04) a year earlier, beating analyst estimates. Revenue rose 2670.3% to $659.2 million from $23.8 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 813.5%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 2670.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ profit last quarter followed losses in the three previous quarters. The company reported a loss of $174.1 million in the second quarter, a loss of $176.1 million in the first and a loss of $180.4 million in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK), InterMune, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITMN), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Pharmasset, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRUS), Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDIX), Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), and Human Genome Sciences (NASDAQ:HGSI).

Stock Price Performance: During November 29, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $8.65 (31.7%) from $27.33 to $35.98. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 17, 2011 and June 29, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 16.1% (+$7.26) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between October 24, 2011 and November 3, 2011 when shares fell for nine-straight days, falling 16.8% (-$7.38) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at