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ImClone Earnings Surge

It easily beats estimates.

Cancer-drug maker

ImClone Systems


reported a fourth-quarter profit Tuesday that easily beat analysts' estimates, boosting the company's shares.

The New York-based company's stock was up $1.41, or 3.9%, to $37.84 in premarket trading.

ImClone earned $229.6 million, or $2.51 a share, in the first quarter, up from $28.8 million, or 33 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose to $245.1 million, from $85.8 million a year ago.

Both revenue and earnings in the latest quarter reflect the impact of a milestone payment collected from marketing partner



on March 31. License fee and milestone revenue totaled $144.4 million in the quarter, compared with $24.5 million a year ago, reflecting the payment.

ImClone also recorded a benefit of $80.3 million in the quarter related to the release of a tax asset valuation allowance. Excluding that, ImClone earned $1.43 a share in the latest period. Analysts were expecting ImClone to earn 83 cents a share on revenue of $161.5 million.

Royalty revenue was $60.3 million in the quarter, vs. $36.4 million a year ago, an increase of 66%. Of the company's total royalty revenue, $53.8 million came from sales of the company's colorectal cancer drug Erbitux by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Manufacturing revenue was $19.3 million in the first quarter, from $11 million in the year-ago period, reflecting a 33% increase in purchases by Bristol-Myers Squibb. ImClone says Bristol's purchases are timed at the big pharma company's discretion to accommodate its own forecasts and stock needs and are not indicative of its own future sales expectations.

For the first time, manufacturing revenue last quarter also included a payment of $2.7 million payment from its partner, Merck KGaA, the company reported.