MGI Pharma


Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings that were slightly below Wall Street expectations but revenue thatwas slightly above expectations.

The Minneapolis-based drug company lost $3.15 million, or 9 cents a share, on revenue of $26.87 million for the three months ended March 31. The consensus of analysts polled by Thomson First Call was looking for a loss of $2.95 million, or 8 cents a share, on revenue of $24.45 million.

Still, the first-quarter results represented a major improvement from the same period last year when the company reported a loss of $6.63 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of only $6.76 million.

The big difference is due to Aloxi, an injectable drug that MGI Pharma markets for preventing nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. The drug was launched in September. It was developed by the private Swiss company Helsinn Healthcare; MGI Pharma holds the exclusive North American marketing rights.

Aloxi produced $18.6 million in revenue for the first quarter, but the company also incurred greater expenses for marketing of the drug.

For the full year, the company predicted that Aloxi's sales would be in the range of $115 million to $130 million, and all other product sales would be approximately $27 million.

The company also predicted it would turn a profit this year ofapproximately $9 million based on the lower end of the Aloxi sales range.

Analysts' consensus view is for a profit of $10.13 million.

Shares rose 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $63 in early trading.