Celgene raises earnings forecast third time


Celgene ($CELG) CFO Jacqualyn Fouse recently noted the markets have been rewarding the biotech for plainly explaining how its pieces fit together to reward investors. That comfort with the company came into play again today when its shares were unfazed even though it reported lower net income on higher expenses. Investors were placated when the Summit, NJ-based company raised its earnings forecast for the year for the third time.

In a recent interview with FiercePharma, Fouse said she believed investors have been giving Celgene some extra credit for its successes in developing and selling its portfolio of drugs "because we found a way to explain what makes us different on the research and development side, the business model that we've got and what that creates for investors now and in the future."

Sales of its workhorse product, multiple myeloma drug Revlimid, were up 12% to $1.09 billion, and revenues overall grew 18% to $1.67 billion. (Separately, PMLiVE reported that the U.K. Thursday said it would not recommend the use of Revlimid for a rare bone cancer.) Despite higher revenues, the company reported that its net income was down 12% to $372.5 million. It pointed to higher expenses to promote its Abraxane and Pomalyst, both of which saw higher sales. Breast cancer treatment Abraxane saw its sales vault to $170 million, up 60%, pushed by last month's FDA approval as a first-line treatment for pancreatic cancer. Multiple myeloma drug Pomalyst sold $90 million in its second full quarter on the market, up 35% from the previous quarter.

"Folks need to rethink their expectations going forward for that drug," Eric Schmidt, an analyst with Cowen and Co., told Reuters. "It's just easily besting our expectations."

The company said today that it now expects its full-year earnings to range from $5.90 to $5.95 a share. Its previous prediction was for earnings to be $5.80 to $5.90 a share. It is the third time this year Celgene has raised its earnings outlook. Shares, which have doubled in value in the last 12 months, closed down 2% at $157.96.

- here's the earnings release
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