ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc.
’s (ARIA) fourth quarter fiscal 2009 net loss per share came in at 17 cents, identical to the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The year-ago loss was 24 cents.
Quarterly Results
ARIAD does not have any product in the market. The entire revenue comes from licensing and partnerships. Revenue in the reported quarter stood at $2.15 million as against $2.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
Operating expenses climbed 5.5% to approximately $20.5 million in the reported quarter. The company has made significant progress towards developing its lead pipeline candidates ridaforolimus and AP24534. Ridaforolimus is being co-developed with Merck & Co. (MRK) as a treatment for cancer. Ariad intends to present complete results from the late-stage studies of ridaforolimus in the fourth quarter of 2010. 
The significant pipeline development in addition to other non-cash charges caused the research and development (R&D) expenses to increase 8.5% year-over-year to $16 million. The general and administrative expenses in the reported quarter decreased 4% year-over-year to approximately $4.5 million.
We note that the decline in net loss per share despite an increase in operating expenses was primarily attributable to an increase in the number of shares. Total net loss increased to $18 million during the reported quarter compared with $16.8 million in the year ago period.
Yearly Results
For 2009, the company reported a loss per share of 86 cents compared to a loss of $1.02 in 2008. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2009 was a loss of 84 cents.
Revenue for 2009 stood at $8.3 million as against $7.1 million in 2008. Operating expenses climbed 1.8% year-over-year to approximately $80.3 million in 2009. R&D expenses for 2009 were $63.4 million as against $50.8 million in 2008.
General and administrative expenses fell 39.9% year-over-year in 2009. The reduction was attributable to reduced activities and costs related to corporate and commercial development initiatives and patent litigation.
ARIAD ended the year with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $40.4 million as against $38.4 million in 2008.
ARIAD is currently discussing the terms of a revised collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of ridaforolimus with Merck. The revised agreement is expected to be executed in the second quarter of 2010 and will provide clarity on available funding and potential scope for development. ARIAD intends to provide guidance for 2010 after reaching a final agreement with Merck on the terms of the revised collaboration agreement.

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