Pacira Pharma falls as sales data seen driving possible Q4 miss
Analytics firm Symphony Health Solutions published data Wednesday showing an apparent sales slump for Pacira Pharmaceuticals' (PCRX) pain medication Exparel, building on the company's earlier guidance cut for the product. The data leads research firm BMO Capital to warn that Pacira could have difficulty achieving even the low end of its 2016 sales forecast. BMO SAYS PACIRA COULD MISS PRODUCT GUIDANCE: BMO Capital's Gary Nachman notes that today's Symphony data shows October sales for Exparel fell to $20.2M, down 12% year over year or down 8% on a per selling day basis. The news follows Pacira's third quarter report on November 2, which saw the company cut its outlook for full-year Exparel sales to $263M-$268M from $270M-$280M to reflect a "revised expectation about when its commercial strategies and creation of opioid-sparing collaborations will accelerate sales growth." Nachman believes October is "not a great start to Q4" and indicates that "meaningful," 7%-8% growth is required during the remainder of the quarter for Pacira to hit its guidance. The analyst concedes that seasonality "should help" for the closing months of Q4, and that Symphony's data may be missing sales from oral surgeries. Nachman keeps a Market Perform rating and a $35 target on the stock, noting that he remains cautious on the near-term chance of Pacira accelerating Exparel sales, and believes successes from its drug pipeline - including several data sets in 1Q17 - are "becoming increasingly important." PRICE ACTION: Shares of Pacira are down 5.8% to $32.35 in afternoon trading.