Weak Guidance Could Sink Gilead Tuesday

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Shock Exchange


  • GILD announces Q3 earnings Tuesday.
  • It could get a bump in Epclusa sales in Q3.
  • However, weak guidance due the continued decline in HCV sales could sink GILD.
  • Any hopes for an acquisition could be delayed until 2017. Avoid GILD.

Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) reports Q3 earnings Tuesday. Analysts expect revenue of $7.45 billion and EPS of $2.86. The revenue estimate implies a 4% decline sequentially. Investors should focus on the following key items:

Weak Guidance

Q2 marked a line of demarcation of sorts. Revenue of $7.78 billion was below the $7.79 billion reported in Q1; it was the first sequential decline in revenue since Q3 2014.

HCV revenue fell 7% sequentially; total non-HCV sales were up 8% on the strength of Genvoya, while total product sales were flat.

Revenue in the U.S. and Europe fell Q/Q by 13% and 7%, respectively. The worst performer was Japan which was off 43% after starts fell precipitously due to mandatory price roll backs. Gilead's introduction of Epclusa, which treats genotypes 1-6, could provide a boost this quarter. There is speculation that it could cannibalize sales of Sovaldi/Harvoni, but that remains to be seen.

Epclusa's biggest impact could be in Japan; 1.5 to 2 million Japanese citizens are infected with HCV, of which about 30% have HCV genotype 2a/b. There is a possibility that Gilead could get a bump in sales of Epclusa in Japan this quarter, yet give weak guidance on future HCV sales. In Q2, the company lowered estimates for full-year product sales from $30 billion-$31 billion to $29.5 billion-$30.5 billion. Those estimates could be lowered again for full-year 2017, hurting the stock.

An Acquisition Might Not Happen Until 2017

One way for Gilead to grow its top line is through an acquisition. Gilead hit a homerun with its acquisition of Pharmasett, the company which helped develop the patent for Sovaldi. The bull thesis has suggested that Gilead's cash hoard would be used for stock buybacks and for acquisitions. Now that GILD is off over 30% Y/Y, bulls have practically begged the management to do a deal... any deal.

This article was written by

Shock Exchange profile picture
The Shock Exchange has a B.A. in economics and MBA from a top 10 business school. He has over 10 years of M&A / corporate finance experience. Currently head the New York Shock Exchange, financial literacy program based in Brooklyn, NY.His book, "Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead", predicted pain ahead for the U.S. economy and financial markets.In 2014 the law firm of Kirby, McInerney, LLP brought a class action lawsuit against Molycorp, Inc. for "materially misleading statements" in its financial statements. Kirby, McInerney used investigative journalism from the Shock Exchange to buttress its case. That's the discipline the Shock Exchange brings to every situation he covers for SA.

Disclosure: I am/we are short GILD. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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