Why BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Plunged

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of biotechnology firm BioCryst Pharmaceuticals were down as much as 19.6% on Tuesday following the release of the company's third-quarter results. BioCryst missed analysts' estimate of an $0.11-per-share loss, posting a loss of $0.14 per share instead. The stock finished the day down 4.5%.

So what: Although it's easy enough to connect the earnings miss with today's share-price volatility, I think it's unlikely to be the culprit. Note, for example, that none of the analysts on the earnings call manifested any concern over -- or even any interest in -- the reasons for the miss. Instead, their questions focused on the status or potential of the company's drug development programs -- the key drivers of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals' value, which is predicated on cash flows that are some way out in the future.

Now what: When there is as much uncertainty concerning a company's future cash flows as there is with BioCryst Pharmaceuticals', investors must expect substantial volatility, and today's intraday action looks like a bit of an overreaction. The New Drug Application for influenza treatment Peremivir and the phase 2A study of oral HAE drug BCX4161 are imminent, and nothing contained in the earnings release of the earnings conference call suggests their status has changed.

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The article Why BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Plunged originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Alex Dumortier, CFA, has no position in any stocks mentioned; you can follow him on Twitter: @longrunreturns. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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