profit rises as new multiple sclerosis drug shines
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[January 29, 2014]
Biogen Idec Inc said on Wednesday its new,
high-profile oral multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera had sales of
$398 million in the fourth quarter, easily exceeding estimates for a
third successive quarter and keeping it on track to top $1 billion
in its first year on the market.
Some of those sales were due to U.S. inventory
stocking ahead of a 10 percent Tecfidera price increase in December.
Biogen said underlying patient demand for the drug represented about
$348 million of the U.S. sales, still ahead of analysts' consensus
expectations of about $335 million.
Biogen expects 2014 overall revenue growth of about 22 percent to 25
percent and forecast earnings of $11 to $11.20 per share, excluding
That could be viewed as disappointing to investors as analysts, on
average, were looking for $11.63 per share, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S. But the investor focus has been squarely on the
performance of Tecfidera, which has already become the top-selling
oral MS treatment in the United States despite being third to
The company expects European approval of the drug in the coming days
or weeks, which would be another major catalyst for sales.
Biogen said its fourth-quarter profit jumped 57 percent, fueled by
Tecfidera. The U.S. biotechnology company's net profit rose to
$457.3 million, or $1.92 per share, from $292.1 million, or $1.23
per share, a year earlier.
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Excluding special items, Biogen earned $2.34 per share, topping
analysts' average expectations by 6 cents, according to Thomson
Total revenue rose 39 percent to $1.97 billion, beating the average
analyst estimate of $1.93 billion.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot in New York
and Esha Dey in Bangalore; editing by Savio D'Souza and Jeffrey
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