Genentech (Oct. 15 after market close)Genentech's stock has been buffeted ahead of its earnings by
Gilead (Oct. 18 after market close)Analysts are speculating now that Gilead's Atripla's sales and lower spending could push the company over the consensus earnings. (Although analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected 39 cents a share.) The company is expected to provide an update on HIV treatment Atripla in the E.U., shedding light on whether there will be an approval by year-end, and it's also expected to give an update on how many patients are being treated with Letairis for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Merrill Lynch analyst Eric Ende noted that because a number of patients are receiving it free for 30 days, the number of third-quarter sales may not be terribly indicative of future sales -- he's looking for sales of $6.6 million in the quarter. Expectations increased for the company's HIV franchise last week on the basis of prescription data. Ende said Atripla sales and Truvada U.S. sales are tracking above his estimates -- at $243 million and $195 million respectively. JPMorgan's Meacham is looking for 44% year-over-year growth of the franchise, and he raised his sales estimate to $801 million from $788 million in a report Thursday.
Biogen Idec (Oct. 23 before market open)While the consensus for Biogen was 67 cents a share, some expect closer to 62 cents a share in light of weaker sales (with the exception of Tysabri) and a $50 million payment made to Cardiokine that was recognized in the quarter. The consensus target for Biogen's multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri is $96 million. But JPMorgan's Meacham expects $105 million. Safety concerns related to two cases of a central nervous system disorder (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy) that occurred in clinical studies have dented Tysabri, a drug that Biogen shares an equal interest in for multiple indications with Elan ( ELN). The drug was approved in 2004 but was pulled from the market in 2005 after the patients in clinical studies died of the disease. Tysabri was allowed back to market, but patients now must register with a safety monitoring program. On Wednesday the company gave a safety update, allaying some of these concerns, saying that 17,000 patients are now taking Tysabri and that no new cases of a rare and incurable nervous system disease have been reported. While pre-earnings analyst estimates for Tysabri were promising, analysts have not been as confident in sales of Rituxan for rheumatoid arthritis, which Genentech will report. Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan scaled back Avonex estimates to $449 million, lower than the consensus of $468 million, given lower U.S. Avonex sales of $257 million (consensus $273 million) implied by IMS sales. JPMorgan is forecasting international sales of $191 million, compared with the consensus of $194 million. In late-breaking news Friday, Biogen revealed that Carl Icahn was among third-parties that