May 9, 2019 6:34pm

Q1/19 results: Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS -$1.08) – exceeded expectation, Caladrius Biosciences (CLBS +$0.06) – experienced net loss along with Verastem Oncology (VSTM -$0.10) following Intrexon (XON -$0.09) debilitating decreases while BioLife Solutions (BLFS -$0.21) and BioTime (NYSEMKT: BTX -$0.02) both reported net income beating expectation.

Pre-open indications of post earnings releases: 5 HITs and 1 MISS (by pennies)

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Markets and indexes:

  • The Dow closed down -138.97 points or -0.54% to 25,828.36
  • The S&P closed down -8.70 points or -0.30% at 2,870.72
  • The NASDAQ was down -32.73 points or -0.41% to 7,910.59



Sector equities and markets fell on Thursday, resuming a deep sell-off this week, ahead of new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods set to go into effect at midnight.

The Cboe Volatility Index, a measure of the 30-day implied volatility of the S&P 500 known as the "VIX" or the "fear gauge," hit a fresh high of 23.38 on Thursday, its highest level since January 4 <CNBC>.

The Dow is down more than 650 points and the S&P 500 has lost about 2.5% this week while sector equities fell again sharply on Thursday!

Pre-open post, “still under pressure yet, it’s time to be picking among post Q release share pricing debris.”

The deepening downside ReNeuron (RENE.L) was down again (-$17.00 after Wednesday’s -$14.50 after Tuesday’s -$7.50) along with Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO) -$1.67 while Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY) broke to the upside +$1.99 along with bluebird bio (BLUE) +$1.03 (after Wednesday’s -$4.53 and Tuesday’s -$10.29 slide)

Thursday’s advance/decline line scenario of 45 covered companies:  

  • The open was negative with the A/DL at 8/33, 2 flats and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);
  • The mid-day was negative with an A/DL of 17/26 and 0 flat and 2 acquired;
  • The close was negative with an A/DL of 20/23 and 0 flat and 2 acquired;

The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks gave up 4.92 points, or 0.3%, to 1,570.06.

For the week:

  • The S&P 500 is down 74.92 points, or 2.5%.
  • The Dow is down 676.59 points, or 2.6%.
  • The Nasdaq is down 253.41 points, or 3.1%.
  • The Russell 2000 is down 43.97 points, or 2.7%.


Pre-open indications: 5 HITs and 1 MISS

  • bluebird bio (BLUE) closed up +$1.03 – hit;
  • Adverum Biotechnologies (ADVM) closed up +$0.12 – hit;
  • AxoGen (AXGN) closed up +$0.90 – hit;
  • Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) closed up +$0.16 – hit;
  • Athersys (ATHX) closed up +$0.03 – miss;
  • Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO) closed down -$1.67 – hit;


Cell and gene therapy company’s worst-performers were:

  • Thursday: RENE.L (-$17.00), SGMO (-$1.67), QURE (-$1.47), IONS (-$1.29) and RARE (-$1.01);
  • Wednesday: RENE.L (-$14.50), BLUE (-$4.53), RGNX (-$4.25), AXGN (-$1.42) and ADRO (-$0.93);
  • Tuesday: BLUE (-$10.29), RENE.L (-$7.50), IONS (-$5.12), RARE (-$4.68) and SAGE (-$3.53);
  • Monday: ALNY (-$3.21), RARE (-$0.74), IONS (-$0.72), BMRN (-$0.63) and AXGN (-$0.50);

Sector equities posting gains were:

  • Thursday: ALNY (+$1.99), BLUE (+$1.030, AXGN (+$0.90), BMRN (+$0.66) and BOLD (+$0.52);
  • Wednesday: SAGE (+$2.86), GBT (+$2.46), IONS (+$1.03), VYGR (+$0.97) and RARE (+$0.89);
  • Tuesday: ADRO (+$0.15), ADVM (+$0.08), BCLI (+$0.05), ONCE (+$0.05) and KOOL (+$0.013);
  • Monday: RENE.L (+$20.00), BLUE (+$3.99), SAGE (+$3.69), NTLA (+$1.66) and VYGR (+$1.53);


This week’s percentage (%) indicators: 

  • Thursday’s range of the 20 upside was +0.24% (FATE) to +7.83% (BSTG) while the 23 downside ranged from -0.06% (VCEL) to -14.77% (SGMO);
  • Wednesday’s range of the 24 upside was +0.12% (ONCE) to +4.74% (XON) while the 18 downside ranged from -0.09% (SGMO) to -21.09% (ADRO);
  • Tuesday’s range of the 6 upside was +0.05% (ONCE) to +4.92% (KOOL) while the 36 downside ranged from -0.61% (SLDB) to -8.65% (XON);
  • Monday’s range of the 32 upside was +0.47% (AGTC) to +17.65% (MDXG) while the 8 downside ranged from -0.75% (BMRN) to -4.15% (ALNY)

Upside volume stats:  review the numbers, there is a message …

  • Thursday: 4 out of the 20 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Wednesday: 4 out of the 24 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Tuesday: 2 out of the 6 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Monday: 7 out of the 32 upside had higher than the 3 month average volume;

Downside volume stats: here is where the session landing is expressed …

  • Thursday: 5 out of the 23 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Wednesday: 8 out of the 18 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Tuesday: 10 out of the 36 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;
  • Monday: 2 out of the 8 downside had higher than the 3 month average volume;

0 flat with 2 acquired (AST & OSIR)


Q1/19 results:

Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS -$1.08) reported Q1 net income of $84 M or +$0.62 per share after reporting a loss in Q1/18; although, earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $0.92 per share.

The results topped “street” expectations of $0.43 per share. IONS posted revenue of $297 M, also exceeded forecast of $287.6 M.

IONS shares have climbed 27% since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased 69% in the last 12 months.


BioTime (NYSEMKT: BTX) reported a net loss

Q1 net income was $39.3 M, or $0.30 per share (basic and diluted), compared to a net loss of -$63.5 M, or -$0.50 per share (basic and diluted), for Q1/18.

The results beat “street” expectations of $0.06 per share and also surpassing revenue ($928 K) forecast of the expected $660 K.

Cash position was 427.1 M but, has $100 M promissory note in 8/2020; BTX owns approximately 28% of OncoCyte’s common stock, or 14.7 million shares, as of May 8, 2019. As of that same date, the value of BioTime’s OncoCyte share position was approximately $65.7 million, based on the closing price of OncoCyte’s common stock on that date.


BioLife Solutions (BLFS)

Net income was $427 K or +$0.02 per share compared with a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $103 K or -$0.01 for Q1/18.

Operating expenses were $3.6 M, compared with $2.3 M for Q1/18 reflecting higher personnel and stock-compensation costs, accounting and consulting charges, and one-time charges of $442 K, inclusive of costs related to our acquisition of Astero.

Cash position was $31.8 M


Caladrius Biosciences (CLBS)

The net loss was $4.4 M, or $0.44 per share, compared with $5 M, or $0.52 per share, for Q1/18.

R&D decreased -10% and G&A decreased -12%

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $38.4 M

Runway: 2020.


Verastem Oncology (VSTM)

Net loss was $38.1 M, or $0.52 per share (basic and diluted), as compared to $21.1 M, or $0.41 per share (basic and diluted), for Q1/18 (In addition, net loss includes non-cash stock-based compensation expense of $2.2 M for 2019 and $1.3 M for the 2018.

The results did not meet “street” expectations for a loss of $0.46 per share.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $211.7 M.

***Amended Hercules Loan Facility – In April 2019, announced an amendment to its existing Loan and Security Agreement with Hercules Capital, Inc., changing key terms of the agreement, including a lower overall interest rate and an extended principal repayment timeline. The amendment also increases the borrowing limit from $50 M to $75 M in financing.

Runway: mid 2020

In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, VSTM's shares hit $1.88. A year ago, they were trading at $4.23.


Intrexon (XON)

A net loss was -$60.7 or -$0.40 per share including non-cash charges of $17.8 M.

Revenues decreased $16.3 M from Q1/18. Collaboration and licensing revenues decreased $13.9 M from Q1/18 primarily due to the reacquisition of rights previously licensed to certain significant collaborators, including ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc., and ARES Trading S.A., the result of which eliminated or substantially reduced revenues generated from those collaborations. The decline was also attributable to the mutual termination of the Company's ECC with OvaScience, Inc., in March 2018. Product revenues decreased $2.3 M, or 32%, primarily due to lower customer demand for pregnant cows and cloned products. Gross margin on products declined in the current period as a result of fewer products sold and increased costs associated with new product offerings. Service revenues decreased $900 K, or -7%. The decrease in service revenues and the gross margin thereon relates to fewer embryos produced per bovine in vitro fertilization cycle performed as a result of unfavorable production results.

Cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments totaled $181.6 M

Runway: early 2020


The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology (IBB) indicator:

  • Thursday closed down -0.24%
  • Wednesday closed down -0.04%
  • Tuesday closed down -2.94%
  • Monday closed up +0.85%
  • Friday closed up +1.82%
  • Last Thursday closed up +0.40 %


May’s sessions:

Thursday closed NEGATIVE with 23 decliners, 20 advancers, 0 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Wednesday closed POSITIVE with 18 decliners, 24 advancers, 1 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Tuesday closed NEGATIVE with 36 decliners, 6 advancers, 1 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Monday closed POSITIVE with 8 decliners, 32 advancers, 3 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Friday closed POSITIVE with 4 decliners, 37 advancers, 2 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Thursday closed NEGATIVE with 23 decliners, 17 advancers, 3 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);

Wednesday (5/1) closed NEGATIVE with 30 decliners, 12 advancers, 1 flat and 2 acquired (AST & OSIR);


Opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change, and not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

Whether information or intelligence is good, bad or somewhere in between; I put into context what is relevant and useful for investors.  All investments are subject to risks. Investors should consider investment objectives.

Henry McCusker, the editor and publisher of RegMed Investors does not hold or have positions in securities referred to in this publication.