CHICAGO, Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com Analyst Blog features: Penske Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG), Alkermes Inc. (Nasdaq: ALKS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMLN).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=4579
Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Penske Profit Jumps 52%
Penske Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG) posted a whopping 52% increase in profit to $29.5 million or 32 cents per share (excluding a net after-tax gain) in the fourth quarter of 2010 from $19.4 million or 21 cents per share in the corresponding quarter of previous year. With this, the company also beats the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 26 cents per share.
The higher profit was attributable to an improvement in retail environment in the U.S. as reflected in a 9.4% increase in same store retail units to 64,043 vehicles and a 9.1% rise in same store retail revenues to $2.5 million. Same store retail sales increased 13.5% in the U.S. and 2.0% in the international market.
Revenues in the quarter grew 13.5% to $2.8 billion, driven by a 14% rise in total retail sales to 66,738 units. It was higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.6 billion. Total retail units rose 18.9% in the U.S. and 3.7% in the international market.
New Vehicle revenues appreciated 16% to $1.5 billion on an 11% rise in sales to 39,033 units. Used Vehicle revenues went up 12% to $728.4 million based on an 18% increase in sales to 27,705 units. Revenues in the Service and Parts segment rose 6% to $342.8 million.
Meanwhile, revenues in the Fleet and Wholesale Vehicle segment increased 20% to $175.5 million and 6% to $61.8 million in the Finance and Insurance segment. However, revenues in the Distribution segment dipped 13% to $8.2 million.
Pipeline at Alkermes Advances
Alkermes Inc.'s (Nasdaq: ALKS) pipeline received a shot in the arm with its candidate ALKS 37 faring well in a mid-stage study (n=87) in patients suffering from opioid induced constipation.
Results revealed that treatment with ALKS 37 reduced constipation arising out of the intake of opioid pain therapies without compromising on the efficacy of the drugs. Alkermes intends to present complete results from the study at an upcoming medical conference.
The multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the safety, efficacy and tolerability of the candidate in patients suffering from opioid-induced bowel dysfunction (OBD) while undergoing opioid treatment for chronic, non-cancer pain. The patients were treated with either ALKS 37 (once daily) or placebo for 14 days.
Preliminary results from the multi-dose study revealed a significant increase in the weekly number of bowel movements in patients treated with 30 mg and 100 mg (the two highest doses evaluated) of the candidate compared those treated with placebo. ALKS 37 was well tolerated.
The study was characterized by the absence of serious side-effects, the most common being abdominal pain and diarrhea. The positive results have encouraged the company to plan a pivotal study of the candidate in mid calendar 2011.
Alkermes has many pipeline events lined up. The company intends to present data regarding another pipeline candidate, ALKS 33, in multiple indications during the course of calendar 2011. Alkermes has many other candidates in development.
Alkermes has two approved products on the market. The lead product is Risperdal Consta approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug is marketed worldwide by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and manufactured by Alkermes.
The other approved product is Vivitrol for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The label of the product was expanded in October 2010 when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence after opioid detoxification.
The drug is expected to be launched for the additional indication during calendar 2011. We believe that the approval of Vivitrol for the additional indication will bring in additional revenues at Alkermes.
Even though October 2010 saw the FDA clearing Vivitrol for an additional indication, the same month brought distress to Alkermes. The FDA issued a second complete response letter (CRL) for its lead pipeline candidate, Bydureon, for treating type II diabetes. Bydureon has been co-developed by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), Alkermes and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMLN).
A response to the CRL will be submitted in the second half of 2011. We note that Bydureon is currently under review in Europe with a decision expected during the course of 2011.
Going forward, we expect investor focus to remain on the approval process for Bydureon and see limited upside potential from current levels. Consequently, we retain our Neutral stance on the stock which is supported by the Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating) carried by Alkermes in the short run.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5514.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5516
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leonard Zacks. As a PhD in mathematics Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=4580.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ZacksResearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.