Updated from 3:25 p.m. ESTGenentech ( DNA) said that between this year and 2010 it hopes to have at least 15 major new products or new uses for existing drugs on the market, and the big biotech is targeting average compound adjusted earnings growth of 25% a year. The comments were offered during a meeting with investors Friday in New York. Genentech also said it expects roughly 40% to 50% growth in adjusted earnings per share for 2006. The forecast excludes charges and costs for recording stock-compensation expenses. Genentech, based in South San Francisco, Calif., saw its shares jump $5.55, or 6.7%, to $88.14 following its forecast. By market capitalization, it's now the world's biggest biotech outfit, ahead of Amgen ( AMGN). The company had a banner year in 2005, watching its shares rise roughly 70% thanks to consistently upbeat views from Wall Street and the various clinical achievements involving the cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin. Genentech is pursuing new uses for both of those drugs and for its arthritis medication Rituxan. Meanwhile, its drug Lucentis, for a disease that robs people of their sight, is expected to be approved later this year. The company's shares did hit a speed bump at the beginning of the year when its earnings
On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are looking for earnings of $1.82 a share. In January, Genentech said it expected 2006 earnings to grow 35% to 45% over last year. When the company first said it planned to revise its long-term goals, analysts feared Genentech would guide lower, Levinson said. Overall, as part of a program dubbed "Horizon 2010," Genentech said it wants to bring at least 20 new molecules into clinical development during the next few years and become the top U.S. oncology company in terms of sales. The company also has a target of reaching cumulative free cash flow of $12 billion. Additionally, Genentech expects to double its pipeline of so-called small-molecule drugs in the next three years, according to Michael Varney, vice president of Genentech's small-molecule drug-delivery group.