Celgene ( CELG) said that sales of its Revlimid likely beat estimates in the fourth quarter, helping to bolster a 50%-plus increase in revenue for 2007. The company also gave 2008 guidance. The Summit, N.J., biopharmaceutical company said late Sunday that according to preliminary unaudited results, revenue was $1.4 billion in 2007, an increase of more than 50% in comparison to 2006. Celgene shares closed at $49.65 on Friday. Shares traded in the $70 range as recently as October, but gave up ground late in 2007 on speculation of disappointing fourth-quarter sales of the company's lead drug, multiple myeloma treatment Revlimid, and also on data from competitor Millennium Pharmaceuticals ( MLNM) for its Velcade, which hopes to compete with Revlimid as a first-line treatment for the type of blood cancer. Celgene expects fourth-quarter sales of its lead product Revlimid will be in the range of $240 million to $245 million, above the consensus of around $235 million. And according to a Columnist Conversation post on RealMoney.com by senior columnist Adam Feuerstein, the company has indicated that sales are likely to be at the upper end of this range. The company expects adjusted earnings of $1.05 a share for the year, while analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of $1.05 a share on revenue of $1.37 billion for 2007.
In 2008, Celgene expects to earn $1.50 to $1.55 a share on revenue of $1.8 billion in 2008. But the company is looking for $1.25 billion in sales from Revlimid in 2008, inside the Street predictions of between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion, according to Feuerstein's column. Last week, Millennium Pharmaceuticals said sales of its Revlimid competitor, Velcade, grew 20% to $265 million in 2007. And the company expects similar growth of 20% to 30%, to a range of $320 million to $345 million in U.S. sales in 2008, although it didn't give ex-U.S. guidance. In addition to Revlimid, Celgene markets multiple myeloma drug Thalomid and chemotherapy drug Alkeran as well as ADHD drug Focalin XR and the Ritalin family of products.