Cempra shares fall 12% after company reports wider net loss

Posted by David Bracken on February 28, 2014 

Cempra shares fell 12 percent Friday after the Chapel Hill pharmaceutical company reported a wider net loss than Wall Street analysts forecast.

Cempra had a net loss of $16.8 million, or 51 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $6.6 million, or 27 cents per share, during the same period in 2012. The consensus among Wall Street analysts who cover the company was a loss of $14.6 million, or 44 cents per share, according to Bloomberg.

Cempra’s $2.1 million in revenue for the quarter came from its contract with Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a division of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Cempra could receive up to $58 million under its 5-year contract with BARDA.

Cempra has no drugs on the market. The company’s larger loss was largely the result of a major increase in research and development spending. Such spending totaled $15.7 million in the quarter, up 257 percent from the same period in 2012.

The higher spending was attributed primarily to costs associated with Phase 3 clinical trials on solithromycin, the company's experimental antibiotic treatment.

For the year, Cempra reported a net loss of $45 million, or $1.53 per share, compared to a net loss of $24.5 million, or $1.23 per share, in 2012.

Cempra shares closed Friday at $11.39, down $1.58. The stock is down 8 percent this year.

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