BIG = Reports Q3 revenue $1.16B, consensus $1.16B. Reports Q3 SSS down 0.1%. Bruce Thorn, President and CEO of Big Lots stated, “We are pleased to have delivered operating results in line with our guidance, while strengthening our balance sheet with the proceeds from the sale of our California distribution center. I’m also highly encouraged by the progress we are making on our transformational strategies, as part of Operation North Star, to drive profitable long-term growth and deliver value to our shareholders. After a year of restructuring and transition in 2019, and despite the ongoing impact of tariffs, we expect to return to EBIT and EPS growth in 2020, including significant improvement in normalized free cash flow.”
Alert price $23.60.
CORV = Still attracting buyers after November 18, 2019, press release on SPECTRUM study.
On November 18, 2019, Correvio announced the presentation of new data from the SPECTRUM study evaluating Brinavess, the company’s antiarrhythmic drug for the rapid conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation in the emergency department setting at the American Heart Association 2019 Annual Meeting taking place November 16-18, in Philadelphia. SPECTRUM was conducted as part of the follow-up measures agreed to with the European Medicines Agency in 2010 and enrolled 2,009 treatment episodes in 53 participating hospitals in the EU. Brinavess was administered in the emergency department in 64.2% of cases. In this post hoc analysis, 1,289 Brinavess treatment episodes in 1,120 unique patients in the emergency departments were assessed. The data demonstrated that treatment with Brinavess successfully converted 70.2% of all treated episodes. Treatment with Brinavess also showed a median time to conversion of 12 minutes from start of first infusion among patients who converted. The median length of stay was 7.5 hours in that setting. Only 13% of these emergency department patients remained in hospital for greater than 24 hours. In the safety results, there were a total of 12 serious adverse events of special interest in 11 patients, the most common of which was significant bradycardia, one of which was associated with significant hypotension; two 1:1 atrial flutter, one of which was originally differentially evaluated as sustained ventricular tachycardia. No serious Brinavess-related AEs resulted in clinical sequelae and no deaths nor cases of torsades de pointes were reported in the study. A New Drug Application for Brinavess is currently under review by the U.S. FDA for the conversion of adult patients with recent onset AF. The FDA assigned a target action date of December 24 under the Prescription Drug User-Fee Act. The FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee is scheduled to review the data supporting Correvio’s NDA on December 10.
Alert price is $1.52.
ICPT = Intercept announced that the positive results from the interim analysis of the Phase 3 REGENERATE study of obeticholic acid, or OCA, in patients with fibrosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis have been published in The Lancet. This is the first peer-reviewed publication of positive results from a pivotal study evaluating an investigational therapy for NASH. “The first positive Phase 3 study results in NASH represent a real watershed moment for the hepatology field,” said Zobair M. Younossi, M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, Chair of the REGENERATE Steering Committee and a lead author of the publication. “The antifibrotic efficacy observed with just 18 months of OCA treatment in REGENERATE is particularly meaningful because fibrosis is the most important histological predictor of liver failure and death in patients with NASH.”
Alert price is $111.26.
RCKT = Baird analyst Madhu Kumar said his optimism on Rocket Pharmaceuticals leads him to raise his price target to $41 from $30 ahead of the release of its ASH data on December 08. He also raised his launch probability to 30% and elevated the shares to Fresh Pick. Kumar reiterated his Outperform rating on Rocket Pharmaceuticals shares.
Alert price is $21.36.
ULTA = JPMorgan analyst Christopher Horvers raised his price target for Ulta Beauty to $326 from $317 citing the company’s “much better than expected” Q3 earnings report and maintained Q4 outlook. The analyst believes hurdles are being cleared the stock to re-rate higher. He keeps an Overweight rating on Ulta Beauty shares.
Stifel analyst Mark Astrachan noted that Ulta Beauty reported “better than feared” Q3 results, but he also said the company gave what he views as “directionally cautious commentary” on FY20, calling out expectations for category weakness in makeup to continue and stating that it will make “thoughtful choices” regarding investments. Ulta also highlighted that it anticipates a more promotional beauty category this holiday, noted Astrachan, who sees heightened uncertainty about category growth and competition to keep shares range-bound after what may be a “relief rally.” He keeps a Hold rating on Ulta, but raised his price target on the shares to $230 from $215.
Citi analyst Kelly Crago says Ulta Beauty reported better than expected Q3 results due to stronger gross margin. And while management lowered Q4 guidance, the outlook is still much better than feared, Crago tells investors in a research note. She raised her price target for the shares to $242 from $240 and keeps a Neutral rating on the name. Not much has changed since last quarter, as prestige cosmetics continues to be pressured and management expects it to remain challenged in 2020, contends the analyst. Until visibility into an inflection in prestige cosmetics, she expects the shares to be range-bound.
Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow raised his price target for Ulta Beauty to $250 from $235 and maintained a Market Perform rating, saying Ulta “surprised” the Street by delivering a solid EPS beat despite a worsening macro backdrop. While Boruchow says Q4 numbers are coming down “a touch,” the FY guidance was held, and given the stock was pricing in a cut, he expects shares to rally on the print.
Alert price is $256.95.
GCO = Genesco reports Q3 EPS $1.33, consensus $1.08. Reports Q3 revenue $537.26M, consensus $540.56M. Robert Dennis, Genesco chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “Our third quarter results meaningfully exceeded our expectations. Consolidated comparable sales increased 3% driven by the ongoing strength of our Journeys business, coupled with a much improved performance from Schuh in the U.K. The third quarter represented our tenth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales for our footwear businesses and included digital comp growth of almost 20% as well as our ninth consecutive quarter of positive store comps. At the same time, higher gross margins at each of our divisions combined with our aggressive share repurchase activity over the past several months helped to achieve a 37% increase in adjusted earnings per share versus a year ago.”
Alert price is $43.85.
EZPW = Ezcorp reports Q4 adjusted EPS 19c, consensus 19c. Reports Q4 revenue $214.3M, consensus $214.99M. Ezcorp announces $60M share repurchase authorization.
“First, the Board of Directors approved a three-year share repurchase authorization for up to $60 million that enables us to return capital to shareholders and buy back publicly traded Class A shares at what we believe to be attractive valuations. Second, we completed the rollout of our new point-of-sale system to all stores in the U.S. and Mexico in October, which will further optimize lending decisions, with related improvements over time in yields, pawn service charges, merchandise sales gross profits and margins. Third, we recently implemented several initiatives, including re-aligning field management to increase senior management’s interaction at store level, consolidation of certain administrative functions and other expense control measures to increasingly leverage our scale, driving an increase in the return on earning assets through improved productivity and operating efficiencies. Some of these initiatives will involve incremental expense in the short-term to drive greater sustainable efficiencies. Fourth, our differentiated digital engagement strategy designed to broaden customer acquisition and service levels, enhance retention and drive revenue enhancements remains on track for initial introduction during the first quarter of fiscal 2020 under the name Lana. The introduction will be in Texas and Florida, our two largest markets in the U.S., with incremental expansion planned throughout fiscal 2020. Finally, strong free cash flow and the strength of our balance sheet, with $162 million cash and no substantial debt due until 2024, provides us with the financial flexibility to continue to fund new store openings, capitalize on M&A opportunities as they arise, and invest in the business to drive sustainable growth. As part of that investment, we plan to accelerate new store openings in Latin America in fiscal 2020 to approximately 40 new stores, up from 22 new stores in fiscal 2019. While this will create some short-term earnings drag, new stores in Latin America represent one of our best opportunities for long-term returns on invested capital.”
Alert price is $5.90.
KOD = Still attracting buyers after December 2, 2019, press release on royalty right on global net sales of KSI-301.
On December 2, 2019, Kodiak Sciences announced that the company has entered into a funding agreement to sell a capped royalty right on global net sales of KSI-301 to Baker Bros. Advisors for $225M. KSI-301 is Kodiak’s investigational therapy being developed for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Baker Bros. Advisors, or BBA, purchased a capped 4.5% royalty on net sales of the company’s anti-VEGF antibody biopolymer conjugate therapy known as KSI-301 to be paid upon marketing approval in exchange for $225M in committed development funding payable to the company. Unless earlier terminated or re-purchased by the company, the royalty “caps” or terminates upon the date that BBA has received an aggregate amount equal to 4.5 times the funding amount paid to the company. In an instance where Kodiak develops anti-VEGF containing follow-on products to KSI-301, there may be royalties of 1.5% to 2.25% owed on these products, but total payments under the funding agreement will never exceed the cap of 4.5 times the funding amount paid to the company. BBA is required to pay to the company the first $100M of the funding amount at the closing of the funding transaction and the remaining $125M of the funding amount upon Kodiak achieving, among other things, 50% enrollment in its two planned pivotal clinical studies of KSI-301 in patients with retinal vein occlusion. The company has the option, exercisable at any point during the term of the funding agreement, to repurchase from BBA 100% of the royalties due to BBA under the funding agreement for a purchase price equal to the funding amount paid to the company as of such time times 4.5 less amounts paid by the company to BBA.
Alert price is $60.48.