Cephalon Narrows Its Loss on Strong Provigil Sales - TheStreet



Monday reported a loss that narrowed over the year-ago quarter, as higher drug sales were tempered by a host of one-time charges.

The West Chester, Penn.-based biotech firm posted a net loss of $2.9 million, or 5 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $11.8 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago.

Excluding a host of charges and one-time items, Cephalon earned $14.3 million, or 25 cents a share. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 15 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Cephalon, as expected, took a $7.1 million charge in the quarter related to the end of a sales and marketing joint venture tied to its antisleepiness drug, Provigil.

Total revenue in the quarter reached $111.5 million, including $95 million in product sales.

First-quarter Provigil sales rose 64% to $44.2 million, compared with the year-ago quarter. The drug is approved for patients suffering from narcolepsy, but a majority of sales are derived off-label for people who battle daytime sleepiness related to a wide range of illnesses. Cephalon is conducting clinical studies seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for expanded uses of the drug.

Looking ahead, Cephalon said it expects to earn 20 cents in the second quarter, a penny above the current Wall Street consensus estimate. Full-year 2002 earnings are expected to reach a range of $1.05 to $1.08 a share. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.09 a share.

Cephalon closed Monday down $4.34, or 7%, to $54.95.