Celgene reports nearly 9 percent increase in Q1 net income due to higher Revlimid sales

Celgene on Thursday announced that net income for the first quarter rose nearly 9 percent to $255 million, buoyed by a nearly 40-percent increase in sales of Revlimid and slightly ahead of analysts estimates. Revenue for the period rose 40 percent to $1.1 billion.

In the quarter, Revlimid sales rose 39 percent to $738 million over the year earlier period, beating analysts estimates of $723 million, driven by physicians using the drug to treat patients with multiple myeloma for longer periods, as well as international expansion. In addition, Vidaza climbed 36 percent to $163 million, ahead of analysts' estimates of $142 million. The company is preparing for generic competition for the latter therapy starting in May, and has incorporated the anticipated impact into its full-year guidance, Chief Financial Officer Jacqualyn Fouse said.

Looking ahead, Celgene said it now expects revenue of $4.5 billion to $4.6 billion, up approximately $500 000 from its previous forecast range and in line with analyst estimates of $4.5 billion. The company revised its forecast based on a more optimistic view of Revlimid, with sales expected to range from $3.1 billion to $3.2 billion from a previous range in January of $3 billion to $3.1 billion. However, the drugmaker noted that it continues to expect the impact of healthcare reform to cut sales by between $80 million and $90 million for the year, with a large portion of this reduction coming in the first quarter.

"Overall, investors should be encouraged by these solid results and the company's modest guidance raise at a time of year when the company's business faces significant challenges," commented Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges.

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