Biovail Sales Surge

Wellbutrin XL sales pace a strong first quarter.
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Biovail (BVF) beat first-quarter targets as sales of antidepressant Wellbutrin XL surged.

The Toronto-based drug company made $64.5 million, or 40 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from the year-ago $11 million, or 7 cents a share. Revenue rose 27% from a year ago to $220.5 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 36-cent profit on sales of $207 million.

The latest quarter included a 3-cent loss from the sale of the Nutravail unit.

Product revenue rose 31% from a year ago to $209 million, with Wellbutrin XL sales soaring to $65 million from $37 million a year ago, when sales were hit by a safety stock reduction. Sales of HIV treatment Zovirax fell 10% from a year ago to $24.5 million due in part to a change in wholesaler inventory buys.