Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

said Monday that fourth-quarter and full-year operating profits slipped below Wall Street expectations even though sales for both periods were higher than the consensus prediction.

The company earned, on a non-GAAP basis, $121.4 million, or 34 cents a share, on revenue of $586 million in the fourth quarter. The Wall Street consensus, as calculated by Thomson First Call, was for a profit of $129.6 million, or 36 cents a share, on revenue of $563.8 million.

For the fourth quarter of 2003, Biogen Idec earned $91.4 million, or 25 cents a share, on revenue of $491.1 million on a non-GAAP basis.

The non-GAAP results exclude certain non-operating charges as well as merger-related accounting matters relating to the November 2003 merger of the former Biogen and Idec Pharmaceuticals.

On a GAAP basis, Biogen Idec earned $48.4 million, or 14 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2004.

The company also predicted that earnings during 2005 will be on the low side of analysts' estimates. The Thomson First Call consensus is $1.71 a share; Biogen Idec predicted an EPS in the range of $1.60 "to the low $1.70s."

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company reaffirmed its long-term goal of achieving 15% compound annual revenue growth and approximately 20% compound annual EPS growth through 2007. The EPS growth prediction reflects non-GAAP results.

However, Biogen Idec is expecting "low double-digit" EPS and revenue growth this year due to the expenses of launching Tysabri, the multiple sclerosis drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 23. Biogen Idec is the marketing and development partner to

Elan

(ELN)

, which is scheduled to announce its quarterly results Tuesday.

Biogen Idec's fourth quarter was paced by sales of Avonex, for multiple sclerosis, which rose 19% to $370 million. Tysabri produced $3 million in sales for the quarter.

Biogen Idec also was aided by a gain in the sales of Rituxan, for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a drug that it co-markets with

Genentech

(DNA)

in the U.S. Rituxan's fourth-quarter sales from Biogen's marketing arrangement with Genentech advanced to $170 million from $130 million during the fourth quarter of 2003.

All U.S. sales of Rituxan are recognized by Genentech, and Biogen Idec records its share of pretax co-promotion profits each quarter. Total U.S. sales of Rituxan were $429 million for the fourth quarter, up from $369 million for the same period in 2003.

For fiscal 2004, Biogen Idec earned $517.7, or $1.44 a share, on revenue of $2.21 billion on a non-GAAP basis. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate was a profit of $530.2 million, or $1.46 a share, on revenue of $2.19 billion.

Biogen Idec released its financial results after markets had closed. In regular trading, the stock lost 80 cents, or 1.2%, to $66.15. In after-hours trading, the stock dropped another 65 cents.