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Biogen Off on Weaker-Than-Expected 2021 Forecast

Biogen shares fell after the drugmaker predicted profit of $17 to $18.50 a share for this year, below the average analyst forecast of $25.09.
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Biogen  (BIIB) - Get Biogen Inc. Report shares fell on Wednesday after the pharmaceutical titan forecast weaker-than-expected earnings for 2021, amid mixed prognoses for its drugs.

It predicted net income of $17 to $18.50 a share for this year, below the average analyst forecast of $25.09, according to Bloomberg. 

It sees revenue at $10.45 billion to $10.75 billion, trailing analysts’ estimate of $11.2 billion.

In the fourth quarter Biogen registered profit of $357.9 million, or $2.32 a  share, down from $1.44 billion, or $8.08, in the year-earlier period. 

The latest adjusted earnings totaled $4.58 a share, lagging the Bloomberg analyst consensus forecast of $4.80.

Revenue slid 22% to $2.85 billion from $3.67 billion a year earlier. The analyst consensus called for $2.8 billion.

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Biogen recently traded at $263.24, down 5.2%.

“Although we expect a financial reset in 2021 primarily due to the entry of [multiple-sclerosis drug] Tecfidera generics, ... 2021 has the potential to be a transformative year for our pipeline,” Chief Executive Michel Vounatsos said in a statement.

The company expects a “regulatory decision in the U.S. on aducanumab for Alzheimer’s disease in June as well as pivotal trial readouts in postpartum depression, major depressive disorder, ALS, and choroideremia,” he said.

Aducanumab is important to Biogen’s future, Bloomberg reports. 

Regulators last month pushed back a decision on the drug until June 7. In November, scientific advisers to the agency recommended rejection of the drug. But the Food and Drug Administration isn’t bound to follow its advisers’ advice.

Biogen also has said it’s dropping a potential Parkinson's disease drug, BIIB054 or cinpanemab, but analysts said in so many words that that’s no big deal.