Biogen Idec Inc. : Biogen Idec 1Q Net Up 2.8%; Raises Year View, Boosts Stock Buyback
05/01/2012| 08:17am US/Eastern
Biogen Idec Inc.'s (BIIB) first-quarter earnings rose 2.8%, though sales growth slowed more than expected as the biopharmaceutical company also expanded its stock repurchase plans.
Biogen raised its full-year earnings estimate to above $6.15 a share on mid-single-digit revenue growth from its January forecast of $6.10 to $6.20 a share on a low- to mid-single-digit percentage increase in revenue.
Biogen's drugs for multiple sclerosis continued to fuel revenue growth, but the performance of its bottom line has been mixed of late. The company had cut some costs in recent years, but it has been increasing investments in its research-and-development pipeline as it looks to grow beyond its core MS drugs into neurology treatments. The company also agreed in February to pay as much as $562.5 million to acquire the biotechnology company Stromedix Inc., which is working on a treatment for damaging scar tissue in the lungs and other organs.
Biogen Idec reported a profit of $302.7 million, or $1.25 a share, up from $294.3 million, or $1.20 a share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as asset amortization and restructuring costs, earnings fell to $1.40 a share from $1.43. Revenue jumped 7.4% to $1.29 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had most recently forecast earnings of $1.48 a share on revenue of $1.31 billion.
Operating margin fell to 28.6% from 34.6%.
Sales of MS drug Tysabri, which is sold with Elan Corp. (ELN, ELN.DB), rose 14% to $285.5 million. Sales of flagship product Avonex, also an MS treatment, climbed 3% to $661.6 million. Rituxan revenue from Biogen's joint venture with Roche Holding AG's (RHHBY, ROG.VX) Genentech Inc. unit, were $285 million, up 11% from a year earlier.
The company also said it expects to repurchase an additional $500 million of stock over the rest of the year.
Shares closed Monday at $134.01 and were inactive premarket. The stock has gained 11% over the past three months.
-By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; firstname.lastname@example.org