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Genentech's Profits Are Up, but Rituxan Sales Worry

Total product sales rose, but both Rituxan and Herceptin sales didn't meet expectations.
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reported higher first-quarter profits, although Rituxan sales fell below Wall Street expectations.

Calculated according to generally accepted accounting principles, the South San Francisco-based biotech firm posted first-quarter earnings of $151 million, or 29 cents per share, compared to earnings of $95.3 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

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Pro forma profits totaled $182.6 million, or 35 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared to profits of $118.6 million, or 22 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Genentech's pro forma earnings exclude charges related to a 1999 stock redemption and the effect of certain accounting charges.

Results beat Wall Street's consensus estimate of 28 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Total revenue in the quarter rose 32% year over year to $749.7 million. Total product sales increased 26% to $598.5 million.

Worldwide Rituxan sales totaled $341 million in the quarter, below the Street consensus estimate of about $351 million.

First-quarter Herceptin sales totaled $93.7 million -- also below Wall Street estimates.