Thursday, October 25 14:15:27
Biogen Idec reported much higher-than-expected third-quarter profit today on increased sales of its drugs for multiple sclerosis and cancer, and the U.S. biotechnology company raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Biogen shares rose 2 percent in premarket trading.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.91 per share, topping analysts' average expectations by 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Biogen now expects 2012 earnings of $6.40 per share to $6.50 per share, excluding items, up from its prior view of earnings above $6.20.
The company also now expects 2012 revenue growth to be in the mid-to-high single digits in percentage terms, compared with 2011. It had forecast growth in the mid-single digits.
However, most investors are focused on Biogen's experimental oral MS drug BG-12, which is expecting a U.S. approval decision around March after the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month said it had extended a review of the medicine by three months.
Biogen shares have nearly doubled during the last 18 months, driven primarily by enthusiasm over the impressive data for BG-12, also known as dimethyl fumarate. Once approved, BG-12 is expected to become the most widely used MS drug with annual sales in excess of $1 billion.
Biogen's net profit in the third quarter rose to $398 million, or $1.67 per share, from $354 million, or $1.43 per share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 6 percent to $1.39 billion, a tad above Wall Street estimates of $1.38 billion.
Sales of the MS drug Avonex rose 8 percent to $736 million. Biogen reported that its revenue from its other multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri dipped 1 percent to $275 million. Irish drugmaker Elan Corp, Biogen's Tysabri marketing partner, previously reported worldwide sales of $404 million for the quarter, with U.S. sales of the infused drug higher than expected, while sales outside the United States fell short of analysts' estimates.
Biogen said its revenue for Rituxan, the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis drug it co-markets with Roche, rose 8 percent to $288 million. (C ) Reuters