Biogen Idec ( BIIB), which recently revealed buyout flirtations with activist investor Carl Icahn, reported an earnings miss on Tuesday.

The biotech company earned $119 million, or 41 cents a share on a GAAP basis, a decrease from $157 million, or 45 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2006.

Excluding items, the company earned $170 million, or 58 cents a share, compared to $207 million, or 60 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected 65 cents a share, on revenue of $803 million.

Biogen reported that revenue increased 12% to $789 million from $703 million in the prior year. Multiple Sclerosis drug Avonex sales increased 2% to $455 million, falling short of Street expectations of $468 million.

Global sales of Tysabri for Multiple Sclerosis increased to $93 million (falling shy of the Street consensus of $96 million), from $8 million in the year-ago quarter. Biogen will recognize $63 million of that income in 2007, having recognized $19 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sales of Rituxan, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, increased 15% to $235 million.

Looking ahead, Biogen reiterated its guidance of full-year revenue growth of 16% to 18% in 2007 compared to 2006. Excluding items, the company expects to earn $2.60 to $2.70 a share -- which represents growth of 16% to 20%.

Shares, which closed at $80.11 on Monday, fell $1.11, or 1.4%, to $79 in premarket trading Tuesday.