Celgene's Q1 profit jumps; sales fall short of estimates as Abraxane, Otezla miss

Celgene announced Thursday that first-quarter net income reached $719 million, up from $280 million in the year-ago period. Meanwhile, revenue jumped 20 percent to $2.1 billion, coming in just shy of analyst estimates, with the figure boosted by the performance of Revlimid.

Sales of Revlimid in the quarter climbed 17 percent to $1.3 billion, meeting analyst estimates, while revenues from Abraxane surged 21 percent to $223 million on broad use in the US and early launch success in pancreatic cancer in Europe, but still fell short of forecasts of $246 million. In addition, sales of Pomalyst/Imnovid surged 46 percent to $199 million, while Vidaza sales slipped 3 percent to $144 million, due largely to a 60-percent drop in US sales to $6 million, following the introduction of generic azacitidine in September 2013. Revenue from Otezla also missed expectations, coming in at $60 million for the quarter, short of analyst predictions of $70.6 million.

Celgene CEO Bob Hugin commented "our firs-quarter results reflect the strength of our product portfolio and we expect the multiple global regulatory approvals achieved during the quarter to drive near-term growth," adding that "our continued investments in our franchises, innovative therapies and technologies position us for sustained growth beyond 2020." In January, the drugmaker stated that it expects revenues to double to $20 billion by 2020.

The company's full-year 2015 guidance remains unchanged, including earnings of $4.60 per share to $4.75 per share, on $9 billion to $9.5 billion in revenue. Analysts expect per-share earnings of $4.81 on approximately $9.3 billion in total product sales.

Commenting on the news, Edison Investment Research analyst Maxim Jacobs said "Celgene had a relatively disappointing quarter, missing expectations on all product lines but Revlimid, a relatively unusual occurrence for such a quality company." He added that "given Celgene's high valuation, investors might become jittery if this weak quarter is a sign of things to come."

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