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MGI Pharma


reported an increase in fourth-quarter sales of its biopharmaceuticals, but the company posted a wider loss than investors were expecting.

Shares fell 3.4% to $16.52 after the market closed Wednesday. The stock had risen 4.3% in the regular session.

For the most recent fourth quarter, MGI's product sales increased to $79.8 million from $64.5 million a year ago, with overall revenue climbing to $81.1 million from $65.3 million. U.S. sales of the company's Aloxi injection for cancer-related nausea totaled $67 million vs. $56 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

Overall, the Bloomington, Minn., company lost $169.6 million, or $2.19 a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $1.8 million, or 3 cents a share, a year earlier. MGI took a $156.9 million charge in the latest quarter for acquired in-process research and development related to the acquisition of Guilford Pharmaceuticals.

Excluding charges, MGI reported a loss $10.8 million, or 14 cents a share for the quarter. On that basis, analysts were expecting the company to lose only 12 cents a share. Wall Street's revenue projection was $80.6 million.

"We significantly expanded our commercial and R&D opportunities and accelerated our expansion into acute care in 2005, while achieving our target for pro forma operating income," said Lonnie Moulder, president and CEO of MGI Pharma. "With five pivotal programs ongoing and two currently marketed products, we believe we have assembled a portfolio capable of generating significant revenue and earnings growth."

For 2006, MGI expects revenue to be in the range of $370 million to $385 million, including Aloxi injection sales of $285 million to $300 million, and Gliadel Wafer sales of $40 million. MGI forecast $25 million in sales for its Dacogen injection if the drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration during the second quarter. Additionally, the company believes operating income from continuing operations, before items, will be in the range of $17 million to $30 million.