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Solid Numbers From Cephalon

Earnings and revenue for the latest quarter top estimates.



reported a big bump-up in fourth-quarter revenue as sales of the sleep-disorders treatment Provigil climbed.

For the fourth quarter, Cephalon had total revenue of $484.7 million, up from $336.4 million in the same period a year earlier. The biotech company lost $4.9 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with last year's profit of $18.1 million, or 30 cents a share.

Excluding various items, Cephalon would have earned $1.06 a share in the most recent quarter, 15 cents ahead of the consensus estimate. Sales were also stronger than the $430.4 million Wall Street was expecting.

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Sales of Provigil, Cephalon's top seller, rose to $204.7 million in the fourth quarter from $148.3 million in the same period in 2005.

Looking ahead, Cephalon raised its 2007 basic adjusted profit guidance by 3 cents to a range of $3.90 to $4 a share. For the first quarter, basic adjusted earnings should be 90 cents to $1 a share.

Cephalon is one of only a handful of companies that gives an outlook using basic per-share calculations. For years, the vast majority of public companies have used the more conservative diluted figure, and that's how analysts' estimates are figured.

On the top line, Cephalon is predicting sales of $1.675 billion to $1.725 billion for this year and $400 million to $410 million for the first quarter. Analysts are looking for $1.75 billion for the year and $408.5 million for the quarter.

Shares of Cephalon rose 68 cents, or 0.9%, to $73.13 in after-hours trading Monday.