Valeant sales rise on deals; Regeneron's Eylea falls short; Dendreon, Ariad aided by cost cuts

A slew of new earnings reports paint a picture of growing sales at a variety of smaller drugmakers. From a slight rise in revenue at the struggling cancer drugmaker Dendreon to a deal-fed increase at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, to an against-the-odds upward tick at Germany's Stada, these companies thumbed their noses at Big Pharma's downward trend this quarter.

Valeant ($VRX), which is in the midst of a contentious bid for U.S.-based Allergan ($AGN), posted adjusted earnings of $600 million, or $1.76 per share, on a 77% increase in sales to $1.89 billion. Valeant, based in Canada, bought the ophthalmology specialist Bausch + Lomb late last year in an $8.7 billion deal. Analysts had expected EPS at $1.72, so Valeant beat that number--but it fell short saleswise, with analyst estimates at $1.97 billion. Report

Regeneron ($REGN), the high-flying biotech with the fast-growing vision-loss treatment Eylea, reported a slide in profits to $65.4 million, or 58 cents per share--$2.26 per share on an adjusted basis. Still, that figure beat word on the street, which pegged Regeneron's adjusted earnings at $2.20. Revenue grew by 42% to $635.7 million. Sales might have been better had the U.S. winter been less severe; as it was, patients had a hard time getting to clinics for treatment, the company said. Release | Report

Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical forecast a 7.7% increase in operating profit for its fiscal year ending March 2015, thanks to cost cuts and sales increases. Target: $1.47 billion. The company is looking for full-year sales to increase by 2%, to ¥1.73 trillion, or $17 billion. Report

Stada Arzneimittel, which generates about one-fifth of its sales in Russia, managed to increase overall revenue by 7%, despite the trouble and tensions in the Ukraine. Profits were flat at $48.7 million, in line with analyst estimates. Russian sales dropped 13% to €78 million, while sales in its home market, Germany, held steady at €126 million. Report

Dendreon's ($DNDN) first-quarter losses weren't nearly as large as last year's--24 cents per share, compared with 48 cents in the prior period. Revenue managed to grow--to $68.8 million from $67.6 million. Analysts had expected a bigger loss but also expected bigger revenue. The reason for the shrinking loss? A 20% cut in its workforce, announced last year, as sales of its prostate cancer vaccine, Provenge, continued to disappoint. From a high of more than 2,000 workers, Dendreon now employs 820. Report

Ariad Pharmaceuticals ($ARIA), which won FDA approval for its leukemia treatment Iclusig last year, posted $8 million in revenue, up 25% year over year. That's something of a feat, considering that Ariad took Iclusig off the market in October, after the FDA warned of a risk of life-threatening blood clots. Ariad then cut 160 jobs, or about 40% of its U.S. payroll. In December, FDA allowed Ariad to relaunch Iclusig under new limits and with new warnings on its label. Report

Special Report: Top 10 pharma companies by 2013 revenue