narrowed its net loss in the third quarter on stronger-than-expected sales of its new cancer drug Velcade.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech firm reported a net loss of 31 cents per share, compared with a net loss of 35 cents in the year-ago quarter. On a pro forma basis, Millennium lost 10 cents per share in the third quarter, beating the Thomson First Call consensus of a loss of 28 cents per share.
Total revenue in the quarter was $144.8 million. Most importantly, sales of Velcade, used to treat multiple myeloma, totaled $23 million in the quarter. Analysts, on average, were looking for Velcade sales of about $18 million.
Looking forward, Millennium provided bullish guidance for the rest of the year. The company said it believes Velcade sales for the year could top prior guidance and exceed $50 million.
Stronger product sales, coupled with "potential for further reduced R&D expenses from our restructuring give us confidence that we will beat our original pro forma net loss guidance given in Jan. 2003 and our GAAP net loss guidance provided in July 2003."
Analysts are currently forecasting a 2003 net loss of $1.01 per share and net loss in 2004 of 66 cents per share.
Millennium is not holding a conference call tonight, but will discuss its third-quarter results and its future outlook at a Thursday meeting with analysts and investors.
Millennium shares closed Wednesday down 5% to $16.94.