Biogen Beats Estimates, Raises Guidance - TheStreet

Biogen Beats Estimates, Raises Guidance

The biotech beats Wall Street estimates by 7 cents a share as sales of Tysabri and Rituxan surge.
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Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

provided a sunny second quarter report Tuesday, with revenue and earnings growth supported by stronger-than-expected sales in key products Tysabri and Rituxan. The biotech company also raised full-year guidance for the second time in this year and allayed fears about new cases of a fatal brain infection in Tysabri patients.

Biogen earned $207 million, or 70 cents a share, vs. $186 million, or 54 cents a share, a year prior, both on a GAAP basis.

On an adjusted basis, Biogen reported profit of 91 cents a share on revenue of $993 million, a 28% increase year over year.

Overall, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 84 cents a share on revenue of $963 million for the quarter.

"In our view, 2Q results were well above expectations," wrote JP Morgan analyst Geoffrey Meacham Tuesday morning. "The growth outlook was maintained with upside Tysabri patient adds. We continue to expect upward estimate revisions to drive BIIB shares as the Street underestimates strong underlying fundamentals."

Global sales of Tysabri, which Biogen co-markets with



, came in at $200 million, with Biogen's portion of that amounting to $147 million. Analysts had pegged $182 million overall, and $133 million for Biogen's share.

Biogen said that as of the end of June 2008, more than 31,800 patients were on commercial and clinical Tysabri therapy worldwide. In the second quarter the rate of new patient additions was 438 per week, vs. 392 per week in the first quarter of this year.

Furthermore, the company said there have still been no confirmed cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a deadly brain infection that previously caused the drug to be removed from the market. The company said this is including assessment of the recent suspected case listed on the AERS database -- which sparked investor concern earlier this quarter.

The company reported U.S. revenue of $306 million from Avonex, vs. the Street view of $301 million to $303 million. Total Avonex sales were $527 million, vs. a $530 million consensus.

Biogen's share of Rituxan sales -- a joint venture with



-- were $279 million, above the Street view of $261 million. Total U.S. Rituxan sales were $651 million, also above the $623 million view.

Looking ahead, the company revised its guidance for adjusted EPS to at or above $3.50, up from its first-quarter guidance of between $3.25 to $3.45 a share and in line with its goal of 20% non-GAAP EPS growth through 2010.

On a GAAP basis, the company is predicting earnings at or above $2.51 a share.

Biogen also expects revenue growth in the mid-20% range over 2007, up from guidance of roughly 20% previously.

The company repurchased 4.97 million shares in the quarter under its 20-million-share repurchase program of 2006.

Biogen shares were rising $3.07, or 4.67%, at $69.92, in early trading Tuesday.