Wyeth Profit Slips, Sales Jump

Drugmaker Wyeth ( WYE) Wednesday reported a modest drop in first-quarter profit, despite higher revenue and strong sales of a handful of its drugs.

Net income fell 4% to $827.3 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with $864.4 million, or 65 cents a share, in the prior-year period. Revenue increased 13% to $4.2 billion.

Analysts were expecting net income of $786.5 million, or 59 cents a share, on revenue of $4.08 billion.

Sales of its antidepressant Effexor rose 31% to $832 million for the second quarter, while its pump inhibitor Protonix managed a 25% increase to $389 million.

Sales of the arthritis treatment Enbrel, which is being co-marketed with Amgen ( AMGN), surged 141% to $156 million.

"We expect our research efforts to yield more than a dozen key registration filings in the next two to three years, which we expect will drive the future success of Wyeth," the company said. Analysts agree that Wyeth's pipeline has potential and has been somewhat underestimated.

Otherwise, Wyeth did not issue any forward guidance. In April, the company reaffirmed full-year guidance of $2.60 to $2.70 a share, excluding items, vs. a consensus estimate of $2.64.

The drugmaker also beat analysts' first-quarter earnings estimates, as the weak dollar helped drive a 9% gain in revenue.

The Madison, N.J.-based company posted a profit of $749.7 million, or 56 cents a share, on revenue of $4 billion in the quarter ended March 31 compared with $1.28 billion, or 96 cents a share, on revenue of $3.69 billion a year ago.

But excluding items, the company had net income of $844.3 million, or 63 cents a share, vs. $719.2 million, or 54 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Shares closed at $34.26 Tuesday.

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