Genzyme

(GENZ)

beat analysts' earnings estimates for the fourth quarter, but said first-quarter earnings would be flat.

The company reported net income of $86.7 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, compared with $78.9 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, in the prior fourth quarter.

On an adjusted basis, earnings rose 14% to $1.04 from 91 cents a share in the same period in 2007. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.02 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

As previously announced in January, Genzyme's fourth-quarter revenue rose 13% to $1.17 billion, reflecting an approximate $39 million negative impact of foreign exchange, compared with $1.04 billion in the same period in 2007.

Genzyme said first-quarter earnings, on an adjusted basis, would be "similar" to earnings in the fourth quarter, which is below the current Street consensus of $1.10 a share.

The company guided to adjusted earnings in 2009 of $4.70 a share, up from $4.00 a share in 2008. Current Street consensus calls for Genzyme to earn $4.74 a share in 2009.

Genzyme said it expects earnings to accelerate starting in the second quarter if approval is granted in the U.S. and Europe for new, expanded manufacturing facilities for its drug Myozyme, used to treat the rare genetic disorder Pompe disease.

Total revenue in 2009 is expected to reach $5.2 to $5.4 billion. The company's guidance reflects an approximate $150 million unfavorable impact of foreign exchange.

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