Sanofi-Aventis (SNY - Get Report) said Monday that full-year sales rose 9% to $33 billion as strong gains from its vaccine business and several signature products were partly offset by generic competition for several other drugs.
Fourth-quarter sales gained 5% to $8.46 billion.
The French company won't issue its earnings results until Feb. 24, although it said last year's earnings per share, excluding one-time items, should be about 25% higher than for 2004.
Meanwhile, many analysts are paying more attention to two big upcoming events that will have a major impact during the rest of the decade than to last year's and last quarter's sales and earnings.Next month, the Food and Drug Administration is supposed to rule on Acomplia, a proposed treatment for obesity and addiction to smoking that has made some analysts giddy with excitement. In April, Sanofi-Aventis will ask a U.S. court to prevent another company from selling a cheap, generic copy of the anticoagulant Plavix, the company's second-biggest product and the biggest-selling drug for its marketing partner Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). "Each