InterMune's Revenue Helps Cut Loss, but Costs a Worry - TheStreet

Biotech

InterMune

(ITMN)

reported fourth-quarter sales that grew 168% over last year's, driven largely by sales of Actimmune.

The company's guidance for 2003 on Actimmune, a treatment for a rare lung disease, was for sales of $160 million to $180 million, an increase of 51% to 70% over 2002 sales of $105.8 million. Worries over rising costs, though, sent the shares lower in after-hours trading.

Fourth-quarter sales of Actimmune were $37 million, compared with $13.8 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had been looking for Actimmune sales of $35 million to $36 million.

The net loss for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2002, was $25.6 million, or 81 cents a share. That compared with a net loss of $2.67 a share in the year-earlier quarter. Wall Street had expected InterMune to lose $1 a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

For the year, InterMune reported a net loss of $144.8 million, or $4.72 a share, compared with a loss of $118.2 million, or $4.67 a share in the previous year.

Sales guidance on Actimmune, the company's revenue driver, generally met with approval. But 2002 expenses and guidance on 2003 research and development costs have raised some concern about when the company will begin to turn a profit.

InterMune lost 10 cents, or 0.5%, to $19.06 in regular trading. After hours, shares were falling more than 10%.