UPDATE 1-SciClone Q1 profit tops Street, backs FY10 outlook

Thu May 6, 2010 5:08pm EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.09 vs est $0.07

* Q1 rev up 19 pct at $18.0 mln

* Backs FY10 outlook

* Shares up 3 pct in after-mkt trade

May 6 (Reuters) - SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc (SCLN.O) posted a quarterly profit that beat market estimates, driven by strong sales of its hepatitis B treatment Zadaxin in China and lower research and development expenses.

Shares of SciClone were up 3 percent in after-market trade.

First-quarter net income was $4.2 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with $96,000, or breakeven per share in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the quarter rose 19 percent to $18.0 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 7 cents on revenue of $19.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For fiscal 2010, the company reaffirmed its profit outlook between 31 cents and 35 cents a share, and revenue outlook between $82 million and $85 million.

Analysts expect earnings of 35 cents on revenue of $83.5 million.

Chief Executive Friedhelm Blobel said the company is expanding Zadaxin sales in China through further penetration into class 3 and 2 hospitals in Tier 1 and 2 cities.

Foster City, California-based SciClone sells Zadaxin, a drug approved in China and other overseas markets, to treat hepatitis B infections and to boost the immune systems of other patients, including those with liver cancer.

Shares of the company rose 3 percent to $4.00 in after market trade. They closed at $3.90 Thursday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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