Biogen Raises Forecast as Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates

Jul 23, 2014 4:04 pm ET

(Updates with closing shares in fifth paragraph.)

July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Biogen Idec Inc., the world’s biggest maker of multiple sclerosis drugs, raised its 2014 profit forecast after second-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates on surging sales of its newest MS treatment Tecfidera.

Earnings excluding items are now expected to be $12.90 to $13.10 a share, Biogen said in a statement today. Previously the company had forecast as much as $11.45. Second-quarter profit of $3.49 a share topped by 66 cents the average of 21 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Sales of Tecfidera more than tripled to $700 million in the quarter from a year earlier, exceeding the analysts’ average estimate of $555.7 million. Results included $115 million outside the U.S., after the drug’s European introduction this year. Tecfidera has now replaced Avonex as Biogen’s top-selling U.S. drug, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

European “uptake has been encouraging,” Tony Kingsley, executive vice president of global commercial operations, said in a conference call with analysts today. “Where we had been more cautious given later entry” in the European market, “we now believe we’re seeing launch trajectories similar to what we’re seeing in the U.S.”

Biogen’s shares jumped 11 percent to close at $337.60 in New York trading, the biggest single-day gain since November. They’ve risen 52 percent in the past 12 months.

Alprolix, Plegridy

Second-quarter net income rose 46 percent to $714.5 million, or $3.01 a share, from $490.7 million, or $2.06, a year earlier, the company said. Revenue jumped 40 percent to $2.4 billion.

Plegridy, Biogen’s new injectible multiple sclerosis treatment, received European approval today, Chief Executive Officer George Scangos said on the conference call.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company also reported for the first time sales from Alprolix, its hemophilia B treatment approved in March, which generated $10 million. Analysts had estimated $4 million to $6 million in sales, according to a note to clients by Robyn Karnauskas, a New York-based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG.