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Alk-Abello Falls on Pollen Season Sales Risk: Copenhagen Mover

Alk-Abello A/S, the Danish maker of allergy vaccines, fell in Copenhagen trading after Nordea Markets said the U.S. government shutdown may hurt sales during next year’s grass pollen season.

Alk-Abello fell as much as 2.1 percent, a fifth day of declines, giving the stock its longest losing streak since the end of March. The shares retreated 1 percent to 475 kroner at 10:03 a.m. in the Danish capital with trading volume at 137 percent of the three-month daily average.

Alk-Abello said Oct. 8 the government shutdown has forced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to postpone a Nov. 6 meeting on its tablet-based grass pollen vaccine Grastek, which the Hoersholm, Denmark-based drugmaker is developing with U.S. partner Merck & Co. The meeting could be delayed until early 2014, which jeopardizes the tablet’s introduction in time for next year’s U.S. pollen season, Nordea today said.

“As this is a seasonal product for which sell-in must take place in March/April at the latest in order to not miss out on the 2014 grass pollen season, there is a clear risk of a delay to sales,” Michael Novod, an analyst at Nordea in Copenhagen, said in a note to clients. “We believe that profit taking in the stock is warranted and looks set to materialize in the near term.”

Alk-Abello has said it targets 2015 sales of 3 billion kroner with a margin on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization above 25 percent. The average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of nine analysts is 2015 sales of 2.66 billion kroner and Ebitda of 494 million kroner.

The potential delay of Grastek “further cast doubts over ALK’s ability to achieve its long-term 2015 guidance,” Novod said.

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