MedImmune Loss Narrows, Sales Rise - TheStreet

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reported a narrower third-quarter loss on higher drug sales.

The Gaithersburg, Md.-based biotech firm lost $16 million, or 7cents per share, in the quarter, compared to a loss of $36 million, or14 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

On an adjusted basis, excluded certain charges, MedImmune's lossfell to $16 million, or 6 cents per share. These results beat analysts'consensus expectations by 2 cents per share, as polled by Thomson FirstCall.

Total revenue in the third-quarter increased 34% to $99 million,including a 35% increase in product sales to $82 million. Sales ofSynagis, a pediatric respiratory vaccine, totaled $49 million. The bulkof Synagis sales, and MedImmune's profits, are recorded in the coldermonths of the first and fourth quarters.

MedImmune's most highly visible product right now is the new nasalflu vaccine, FluMist, which is co-markets with



. As of the end of the third quarter, Medimmune billed $30 million to Wyeth for 2.4 million doses of FluMist shipped in the quarter, the company said. These billings have not yet been booked as sales but are reflected on Medimmune's balance sheet as inventory.

Last week,


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announced that it would not offer FluMist vaccinations during the current flu vaccine season, as previously planned. Still, MedImmune reiterated previous guidance of FluMist revenue in the range of $120 million to $140 million for this year.

On its conference call, Medimmune CEO David Mott called the Wal-Mat pullout a "significant setback" to the FluMist launch but said that efforts to get the new vaccine stocked in doctor offices and othersregional pharmacy chains has been successful.

It's still early in the flu immunization season, three months aheadof the peak in late January and early February, so it's too early topredict how things will turn out," said Mott. Medimmune plans to providea detailed update on the FluMist launch in the middle of December.

MedImmune reiterated its overall guidance for the year, forecastingadjusted earnings per share in the range of 88 cents to 93 cents pershare, on total revenue of $1.1 billion to $1.15 billion. Analysts, onaverage, are looking for the company to earn 91 cents per share thisyear.

MedImmune closed Wednesday at $28.90 per share.