Dendreon Shares Tumble on Weak Vaccine Sales, Withdrawn Forecast

Shares of Dendreon (NASDAQ:DNDN) plunged Thursday as investors digested its extremely disappointing earnings and dismal quarterly sales of cancer vaccine Provenge from the day earlier that caused it to pull its fiscal forecast.

Sales of the prostate cancer vaccine were $49.6 million during the second quarter, below average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $58 million.

The Seattle, Wash.-based biotech company pulled back its fiscal guidance on Wednesday, claiming sales growth of the vaccine will remain gradual throughout the year as the adoption of the new reimbursement paradigm takes some time.

That move prompted at least six brokerages to cut their rating on Dendreons stock.

The company has pointed to reimbursement concerns and delayed physician adoption as the primary reasons why Provenges sales growth has been slower-than-expected.

Dendreon, though, still sees substantial market potential for the cancer vaccine, noting Provenge had sales of $19 million in July and orders are coming in during August at higher levels than the previous two months.

The company narrowed its second-quarter loss to $114.6 million, or 79 cents a share, from a year-ago loss of $142.6 million, or $1.04 a share, however it widely missed the Streets view of a 71-cent loss.

Excluding special items, the company said it would have earned 57 cents a share.

Total operating expenses climbed to $123.6 million from $68.4 million in the same period last year, partially offsetting wide growth in revenue to $49.6 million.