Biotech stocks were both heaved and harried by earnings on Tuesday, balancing indices on light trading volume. First, a non-earnings item: specialty drug company Pipex Pharmaceuticals ( PP) slid or $2.42, or 55.9%, to $1.77, after it announced the Food and Drug Administration will not accept as submitted its new-drug application (NDA) for oral Coprexa as a treatment of initially presenting neurologic Wilson's disease. The FDA cited eight issues, including a request for an additional short-term reproductive drug safety study in animals and two preliminary assessments related to the adequacy of the clinical evidence of safety and efficacy of the drug. Now for earnings, Eli Lilly ( LLY) beat fourth-quarter estimates by a penny per share on an adjusted basis, bringing in net income of $986.4 million, or 90 cents a share, on sales of $5.19 billion. Sales growth in drugs like antidepressant Cymbalta and erectile-dysfunction drug Cialis helped to offset a flat quarter for its leading earner, schizophrenia drug Zyprexa. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected 89 cents a share on revenue of $4.81 billion. For the year, the company reported adjusted earnings of $3.96 billion, or $3.54 a share, on sales of $18.7 billion, while analysts anticipated $3.54 a share on roughly $18.26 billion in revenue. Lilly's shares were trading up 90 cents, or 1.8%, at $52.33. On the other hand, Amylin ( AMLN), which said after Monday's closing bell that greater expenses offset higher sales in the fourth quarter, saw shares fall $2.60, or 8%, to $30.10 on Tuesday. The company reported a net loss of $76.9 million, or 57 cents a share, for the quarter compared to a net loss of $58.4 million, or 45 cents a share, for the same period in 2006. The loss in the recent quarter includes a full-year, non-cash expense of $17 million associated with the adoption of an employee stock ownership plan. Revenue came in at $222 million, surpassing expectations of analysts who were looking for an adjusted loss of 44 cents a share on revenue of $202 million. For the year, the company reported a loss of $211 million, or $1.59 a share, on revenue of $781 million. Analysts expected an adjusted loss of $1.46, on revenue of $761 million. Sales of type II diabetes drug Byetta, which Amylin markets with Eli Lilly, came in ahead of estimates at $176.3 million, compared to a $170 million consensus estimate, $137 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 and $161 million in the third quarter of this year. Although the company's CFO said on the conference call that the sequential growth rate was affected by wholesaler stocking due to year-end buying patterns. The stock is a component of the Amex biotechnology index, which held around the flat line at 751.95.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).