Vertex Loss Narrows

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals

(VRTX) - Get Report

, a manufacturer of antivirals, cancer, and autoimmune and anti-inflammatory drugs, saw its fourth-quarter loss narrow 11% from a year ago due to a jump in collaborative and other research and development revenue.

The company lost $38.1 million, or 38 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2005, compared with a loss of $42.8 million, or 54 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding charges for debt exchanges and restructuring, the lost 20 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were forecasting a loss of 23 cents a share.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company saw a 60% rise in revenue to $63.8 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were estimating $57.74 million.

Vertex expects the full year 2006 loss to be $205 million to $225 million on revenue of $210 million to $235 million. Excluding restructuring charges and stock-based compensation expense, Vertex expects a loss of $165 million to $185 million. The Wall Street estimate was a loss of $168.05 million.

"Vertex achieved all of its clinical, research and financial objectives in 2005," said the company. "In particular, we increased our financial strength as we advanced potentially transformational compounds targeting hepatitis C virus, rheumatoid arthritis and cystic fibrosis. Our performance last year has positioned us to build momentum in 2006."

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