missed analysts' earnings forecasts for the fourth quarter, but surpassed revenue expectations, according to the company's latest financial results released Thursday.
The Summit, N.J., biotech said it earned 2 cents a share in the quarter, compared with 13 cents a year earlier. Excluding certain charges, the company saw earnings of 4 cents a share, a penny below the consensus target of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.
Net income was $8 million after the company ramped up its spending on research and development and preparations to launch Revlimid, a treatment for the blood disease myelodysplastic syndromes. Celgene earned $22.2 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
The company says it will continue to increase spending in 2006, with R&D expenses up as much as 25% and selling, general and administrative expenses up 10% to 15% year over year.
Celgene posted higher quarterly revenue than analysts expected, at $149.3 million compared with analysts' $146.27 million. Revenue totaled $105.4 million in the same quarter last year.
Sales of its leprosy drug Thalomid were up 23% in the quarter to $105.8 million, following positive trial results for use of the drug in treating multiple myeloma. Although the drug is only officially approved for treating leprosy, doctors are allowed to prescribe it and all medications as they see fit in what's called "off-label" use.
Over the year, Celgene received Food and Drug Administration approval to market Revlimid for myelodysplastic syndromes and clearance for its extended-release version of Focalin for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Celgene has also applied for FDA approval of Revlimid to treat multiple myeloma that has relapsed or failed to respond to prior therapy.
"In 2005, we made great strides across all areas of Celgene, and in 2006, we will continue to prepare for an incredibly promising future," said Chairman and Chief Executive John W. Jackson." We believe that the Revlimid transformation is well on its way."
Celgene's shares closed slightly lower Wednesday at $66.81.