United Therapeutics Soars on Study

Also, the biotech beats Wall Street estimates by 32 cents a share in the third quarter.
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Updated from 1:19 p.m. EDT

Shares of

United Therapeutics

(UTHR) - Get Report

soared as much as 40% Thursday after the biotechnology company announced positive results from a late-stage drug study.

The company and its Lung Rx unit said a phase III trial of Viveta, an inhaled formulation of treprostinil for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, "robustly met" its primary endpoint, a preliminary analysis showed.

The good news didn't stop there, though. United Therapeutics also said it earned $14.8 million, or 66 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared to $8.5 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting 34 cents a share on $51.2 million in revenue.

Revenue beat that consensus target, rising 46% to $59 million from $40.4 million in the third quarter of 2006. The company said the revenue hike was primarily due to growth in sales of its lead product, Remodulin, for pulmonary arterial hypertension. It offset a 64% increase in research and development expenses, which were $19.56 million for the quarter.

Shares recently rose $21.97, or 32%, to $90.41 on heavier than usual volume.