Biogen Beats Q4 Estimates on Strong Sales of Treatments for MS, Spinal Atrophy

Biogen saw `resilience in [MS medications], strong worldwide growth for Spinraza, and an expanded biosimilars business,' the CEO said.
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Biogen  (BIIB) - Get Report shares are higher on Thursday after the biotech reported fourth-quarter results that topped analyst estimates on the back of strength in two of its prominent medications.

The Cambridge, Mass., company earned $8.08 a share in the quarter, up 71% from $4.73 in the year-earlier quarter. The latest adjusted earnings were $8.34 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting adjusted earnings of $8.05 a share.

Revenue came in at $3.67 billion, up 4.1% from $3.53 billion. The analyst consensus: $3.54 billion.

Sales of Biogen’s Spinraza, a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, rose 16% in the quarter to $543 million while multiple-sclerosis treatment Tecfidera saw a 5% rise to $1.16 billion.

In 2019 Biogen saw "resilience in [multiple-sclerosis medications], continued strong worldwide growth for Spinraza, and an expanded biosimilars business,” Chief Executive Michel Vounatsos said in a statement. 

The company also is optimistic about aducanumab for Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen "[looks] forward to completing a regulatory filing in the U.S. as soon as possible,” the executive said.

For the full year, the company reported a 6.9% increase in revenue to $14.38 billion. The figure reflected particularly $9.2 billion from its MS-treatment segment - including $688 million of royalties from Roche  (RHHBY) on sales of Ocrevus - and $2.1 billion from Spinraza.

In January, Biogen said it agreed to acquire a potential Alzheimer’s treatment from Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report that could also be developed to treat irregular sleep wake rhythm disorder in Parkinson’s disease. 

Biogen paid $75 million up front for the treatment, with up to an additional $635 million to be paid if the drug reaches development and commercial milestones.

At last check Biogen shares were up nearly 2% to $288.