Updated from 8:05 a.m. ESTBiogen Idec ( BIIB - Get Report) reported a 3% increase in adjusted fourth- quarter earnings Friday to $274.3 million, or 93 cents a share, matching Wall Street's expectations, and said it expects 2009 adjusted earnings of $1.17 billion, or above $4 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 2009 adjusted earnings of $3.99 a share. Meanwhile, Biogen received notice from Icahn Partners for the nomination of four people to Biogen's board. The individuals are Alexander Denner, Richard Mulligan, Thomas Deuel and David Sidransky. In June 2008, investor Carl Icahn lost his battle to change the makeup of Biogen's board when his nominees weren't elected to the board. Icahn and his affiliates own about 6% of Biogen shares. The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech firm said net income in the fourth quarter totaled $207.7 million, or 70 cents a share, compared with net income of $201 million, or 67 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Fourth-quarter revenue rose to $1.07 billion from $893.3 billion, just shy of the consensus forecast of $1.08 billion. For 2009, the Biogen said it expects revenue growth in the high-single digits. In 2008 revenue was $4.1 billion. The current consensus is for 2009 revenue of$4.47 billion. Worldwide sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri totaled $156 million in the fourth quarter, up from $129 million in sales during the year-ago period. Biogen shares Tysabri revenue with Irish drug maker Elan ( ELN). In early January, Biogen said that the growth rate of new patients taking the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri slowed in the fourth quarter to 6%, down from 11% in the third quarter, due in large part to reports of new cases of Tysabri patients coming down with the serious brain infection progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. Fourth-quarter sales of the multiple sclerosis drug Avonex rose 11% to $565.8 million, whiles sale of the cancer drug Rituxan, co-marketed by Genentech ( DNA), totaled $303 million in the quarter, up 20% year over year. Biogen shares closed Thursday at $53.28.
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