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Bellus Health (BLU) Reports Q4 Loss, Lags Revenue Estimates

This story originally appeared on Zacks

Bellus Health (BLU) came out with a quarterly loss of $0.18 per share versus the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $0.28. This compares to loss of $0.10 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

– Zacks

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 35.71%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this drug developer would post a loss of $0.24 per share when it actually produced a loss of $0.29, delivering a surprise of -20.83%.

Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates just once.

Bellus, which belongs to the Zacks Medical – Biomedical and Genetics industry, posted zero revenues for the quarter ended December 2021, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 60%. This compares to zero revenues a year ago.

The sustainability of the stock’s immediate price movement based on the recently-released numbers and future earnings expectations will mostly depend on management’s commentary on the earnings call.

Bellus shares have lost about 20.8% since the beginning of the year versus the S&P 500’s decline of -9.7%.

What’s Next for Bellus?

While Bellus has underperformed the market so far this year, the question that comes to investors’ minds is: what’s next for the stock?

There are no easy answers to this key question, but one reliable measure that can help investors address this is the company’s earnings outlook. Not only does this include current consensus earnings expectations for the coming quarter(s), but also how these expectations have changed lately.

Empirical research shows a strong correlation between near-term stock movements and trends in earnings estimate revisions. Investors can track such revisions by themselves or rely on a tried-and-tested rating tool like the Zacks Rank, which has an impressive track record of harnessing the power of earnings estimate revisions.

Ahead of this earnings release, the estimate revisions trend for Bellus: mixed. While the magnitude and direction of estimate revisions could change following the company’s just-released earnings report, the current status translates into a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) for the stock. So, the shares are expected to perform in line with the market in the near future. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

It will be interesting to see how estimates for the coming quarters and current fiscal year change in the days ahead. The current consensus EPS estimate is -$0.28 on $0.01 million in revenues for the coming quarter and -$0.99 on $0.02 million in revenues for the current fiscal year.

Investors should be mindful of the fact that the outlook for the industry can have a material impact on the performance of the stock as well. In terms of the Zacks Industry Rank, Medical – Biomedical and Genetics is currently in the bottom 43% of the 250 plus Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

One other stock from the same industry, Cue Biopharma, Inc. (CUE), is yet to report results for the quarter ended December 2021.

This company is expected to post quarterly loss of $0.34 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +8.1%. The consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days.

Cue Biopharma, Inc.’s revenues are expected to be $6.5 million, up 1254.8% from the year-ago quarter.

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