Glaxo Repeats Outlook

Sales of asthma drug Advair rose 22% to $1.34 billion in the second quarter.
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said Thursday that results from the second quarter reinforce the "very positive outlook" for the drug giant this year.

The company reaffirmed its guidance that earnings per share for the full year would grow in the "low double-digit range."

Shares of GlaxoSmithKline, the second-biggest seller of pharmaceuticals in the U.S., rose 72 cents, or 1.5%, to close at $47.65 in trading that was double the daily average.

On the basis of constant exchange rates, the company reported an EPS gain of 10% to 37 cents, an operating profit increase of 13% to $3.2 billion and a revenue gain of 6% to $9.7 billion for second quarter vs. the same period last year.

Top performers for the three months ended June 30 included the asthma drug Advair, whose sales rose 22% to $1.34 billion, the Avandia/Avandamet diabetes drugs whose sales climbed 16% to $653 million, and the vaccine business, which added 16% to $598 million.

The company's antidepressant franchise took several hits. Sales of Paxil IR dropped 33%, and sales of Wellbutrin SR/IR fell 81% because of generic competition. Sales of Paxil CR fell 73% because the

product was seized by U.S. regulators who said GlaxoSmithKline had failed to correct problems at a Puerto Rico plant where the drug was manufactured.

The product was confiscated in March. In late June, the company began selling the drug in the U.S. again after signing a consent decree with the Food and Drug Administration. Federal marshals also seized batches of Avandamet that were made at the plant, keeping it out of the marketplace for four months.