Shares of Aratana Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:PETX) fell Friday after Stifel Financial Corp (NYSE:SF) lowered the pet medicine developer to Hold from Buy and reduced his target for its shares to $5 from $8.
The company, according to Stifel analyst Jonathan Block, is seeing ongoing adoption of Entyce, its veterinary therapeutic medication that stimulates dogs’ appetite, but not much progress has been made on extending the drug’s duration, per a report on TheFly, the business news site.
Aratana shares slipped by 27% to hit $4.34 in Friday’s afternoon trading session.
Block cut his 2019-2024 Entyce estimates “materially.” His move to take a neutral stance on the stock is partly related to the Leawood, Kansas-based company’s “modest” drug pipeline and the recent departure of its chief operating officer.
Aratana boasts a trio of drugs – Entyce, Nocita, and Galliprant – that have all been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat pets.
Aratana CEO Steven St. Peter is particularly bullish on the prospects for Galliprant, an osteoarthritis pain reliever for dogs.
"We are especially pleased with the strong performance of Galliprant, which in addition to gaining market share, also earned Aratana its first commercial milestone," St. Peter said in a November statement delivered along with the company's third-quarter results.
In the three months until the close of September, Aratana posted net sales of $21.6 million and net income of $8.8 million, or $0.19 per share. Net revenue for the third quarter included a $15 million commercial milestone, which drove profitability.