WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) on Thursday said profit in the fourth quarter increased significantly from the prior year, helped by higher sales of its Soliris drug. Adjusted earnings and revenues topped Wall Street estimates. The company also guided full-year earnings within analyusts' estimates.
Net income for the quarter surged to $48.2 million or $0.25 per share from $26.5 million or $0.14 per share reported last year.
Excluding mainly share-based compensation and non-cash tax adjustment, adjusted net income increased to $80.5 million or $0.41 per share from $48.6 million or $0.26 per share. On average, 19 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.34 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Alexion has dveloped and markets Soliris, or eculizumab, as a treatment for patients with blood disease paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or PNH, and genetic disease atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.
Net product sales climbed to $227.56 million from $155.98 million. Analysts expected revenues of $220.75 million for the quarter.
Alexion attributed the year-over-year increase to strong additions of new patients with PNH globally, with a small contribution from the US launch of Soliris in aHUS during the last months of 2011.
For the full year, net income increased to $175.32 million or $0.91 per share from $97.03 million or $0.52 per share. Adjusted net income totaled $266.1 million or $1.38 per share. Net product sales advanced to $783.43 million from $540.96 million. Wall Street expected earnings of $1.30 per share on revenues of $776.45 million.
Looking ahead to 2012, Alexion expects adjusted earnings of $1.60 to $1.70 per share. Worldwide net product sales are expected to be within a range of $1.04 to $1.07 billion. Analysts look for earnings of $1.67 per share on revenues of $1.04 billion.
ALXN closed on Wednesday at $76.69, compared to the previous close of $78.81, on 2.02 million shares.
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