Intermune Blows Up After Hours

Pharmaceutical company Intermune ( ITMN) warned investors on Wednesday that its full-year revenue will come in lower than its previous guidance. The shares got hammered in response.

The Brisbane, Calif.-based company is now to post $145 million to $165 million in total product revenue in 2003. In April, the company had projected that its product sales would come in between $170 million to $195 million.

In the Instinet after-hours session, the stock was recently trading for $18.13, down $6.97, or 28%, from its 4 p.m. EDT close of $25.10.

Intermune attributed the revenue miss to worse-than-expected sales of its key drug, Actimmune. Intermune now expects to sell $135 million to $150 million of Actimmune in 2003. Previously, the company had projected that it would sell $160 to $180 million worth of Actimmune this year.

In the current quarter, Internmune expects to sell $30 million to $33 million of Actimmune. That's down from nearly $38 million in the first quarter.

Actimmune stimulates the immune system and is used to treat two life-threatening congenital diseases. Intermune is testing the drug for use in treating the lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Intermune did not provide earnings guidance. However, the company reiterated its previous projections of operating expenses. In April, Intermune projected it would spend between $80 million and $85 million on sales, general and administrative expenses. The company also projected that it would spend between $153 million and $163 million on research and development costs.

Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting Intermune to lose $2.76 cents a share on $184.49 million in sales in 2003.

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