Celgene ushers Hugin into CEO suite

Another top management shuffle, this time at Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG). The company has named Robert Hugin as its new CEO. Currently president and COO, Hugin will replace Sol Barer (photo), who's been CEO since 2006 and chairman since 2007. The changes take effect June 16.

The news comes as Celgene reports strong Q1 performance and boosts its full-year revenue forecast by $100 million. The company posted a 44 percent increase in profits, aided by the fast-growing blood cancer drug Revlimid. That med grew sales for the quarter by 46 percent to $530 million, prompting the company to increase full-year projections for the drug by $100 million to a range of $2.1 billion to $2.3 billion.

Celgene also pleased observers by citing a small quarterly cost of $4 million from the U.S. healthcare reform law and estimating a full-year impact of up to $40 million. Next year, revenue is expected to suffer by up to $90 million, but there's a "lack of clarity" on a few of the law's provisions, making that forecast a bit iffy, the company said. Overall, however, the company said that reform should have only a "modest impact" on the company in the long term, Hugin said during the company's earnings call (as quoted by Dow Jones).

As for Hugin's impending assumption of leadership, analysts say investors shouldn't be fussed about the change. Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote in an investor note that Hugin is "viewed positively for his steady hands." We'll have to wait and see how those hands do at the helm.

- read the Dow Jones piece (sub. req.)

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