Botox does more than zap wrinkles -- it also boosts profits.

Allergen

(AGN) - Get Report

posted a jump in first-quarter profit, thanks to an increase in sales from the skin treatment. But the company issued second-and third-quarter EPS estimates below analyst estimates.

Shares of the Irvine, Calif.-based company were recently falling 2.3% to $70.92 in afternoon trading.

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In the quarter ended March 28, the company earned $70.2 million, or 53 cents a share, including certain items, compared with $43.8 million, or 33 cents a share, in the prior-year quarter. Excluding items, earnings were 54 cents a share, compared with 43 cents a share in the same quarter of 2002. Analysts expected 53 cents a share.

Sales were $391.2 million, compared with $318.2 million a year ago. The company said worldwide eye care pharmaceutical sales increased 6.4%, while Botox and related cosmetic sales rose 38.9%. Skin care product sales increased 18.8%.

"We are very pleased with the results of the first quarter and remain poised to deliver strong earnings growth for 2003," said Chief Executive David E.I. Pyott. "In addition, we are excited about the numerous product launches and product approvals anticipated throughout 2003 and an acceleration of growth during the remainder of 2003."

Looking to the second quarter, Allergen expects to earn 52 cents a share, on sales of $415 million to $435 million. Analysts, however, expected 55 cents a share on revenue of $402.3 million.

The company expects to earn 56 cents to 57 cents a share in the third quarter. Analysts expected 59 cents a share. And in 2003, the company expects to earn $2.31 a share, excluding non-recurring items. Analysts also expect $2.31 a share and the company earned $1.88 a share in 2002.