Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. (CRTX) reported third-quarter earnings per share of 7 cents, compared to a profit of 49 cents in the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was pegged at 1 cent.
Net revenues for the quarter were up 12.1% to $23.1 million as against $20.6 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues were boosted by the acquisition of a few products during the quarter. Sales for two of the company’s products fell due to increased competition. Hyomax sales fell 39 %, to $7.6 million, while the AlleRx Dose Pack product line witnessed a 42 % decrease to $3.5 million.
On the positive side, revenues from Spectracef sales increased $1.9 million for the reported quarter primarily due to the enhanced promotion of the drug by Cornerstone’s sales force to targeted physicians.
Zyflo CR and Zyflo revenues came in at $5 million for the reported quarter.  Curosurf contributed $2.2 million to revenues during the quarter. As a reminder, Cornerstone acquired rights to Curosurf from Chiesi during the quarter and began promoting and selling the drug in Sep 2009. Factive contributed $91,000 to third quarter revenue. Product rights for the candidate and related inventory were acquired in September.
Sales and marketing expenses came in at $8.2 million during quarter as against $3.8 million in the year-ago quarter. This increase was primarily attributable to increase of the sales force and management team apart from marketing and promotional spending; and co-promotion, travel and consulting-related expenses.
General and administrative expenses came in at $4.9 million as against $1.3 million for the year-ago quarter.
Management raised its revenue guidance for 2009 and now expects revenues to exceed $104 million based on increased contributions from Curosurf and Factive.  Cornerstone was previously expecting revenues to exceed $95 million.
Cornerstone operates in a highly competitive respiratory market. Its products compete with both big players and generic counterparts. However, we believe the company should be able to carve a niche in this market. Cornerstone’s top competitors include big players like AstraZeneca (AZN), GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Merck (MRK).
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