Vertex Plunges on Latest Loss

The stock drops 10%.
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Vertex Pharmaceuticals

(VRTX) - Get Report

dropped 10% Wednesday after its first-quarter loss widened.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company lost $50.1 million, or 47 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $44.7 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for stock option expenses, restructuring charges and a one-time benefit, loss was 39 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting the company to post a loss of 56 cents a share.

First-quarter revenue rose 36.6% from a year ago to $39.1 million as against analysts' expectation of $41.5 million.

The rise was led by increase in revenue from collaborative research and development agreements, the company said.

Vertex reaffirmed its forecast for the full year loss of $205 million to $225 million, including stock option expenses of about $34 million and restructuring expense of about $6 million.

Research and development expenses for the quarter rose to $75.2 million, up from $57.4 million in the last year. The company raised the expenditure to to prepare for and conduct later stage clinical trials of product candidates in hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis and the first clinical trials with VX-770.

Shares slid $3.59 to $33.91.

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