Celgene issues 2013, long-term forecasts; shares rise
(Reuters) - Celgene Corp (CELG.O) on Monday forecast 2013 profit in line with Wall Street projections, introduced a long-term outlook for 2017, and said results from two late-stage trials of a drug for the skin disorder psoriasis were positive.
Celgene said it plans to file an application in the second half of this year seeking U.S. approval for apremilast to treat psoriasis. It previously said it would seek approval for the oral drug as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis in the first quarter of 2013, and in Europe, for both conditions, in the second half of this year.
Celgene shares rose 4.5 percent to $85.82 in afternoon trading on Nasdaq.
The biotechnology company forecast total sales in 2013 of $6 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $5.50 to $5.60. The forecast was roughly in line with analyst expectations for sales of $6.05 billion and earnings of $5.56 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Celgene said it sees compound annual product sales growth of 19 percent between 2013 and 2017.
Celgene said it now expects to report 2012 adjusted earnings per share of about $4.90, topping analysts' average expectations of $4.88 per share.
It said sales of its lead drug, Revlimid for multiple myeloma, achieved fourth-quarter sales of just over $1 billion, and it expects 2013 sales of the drug to be between $4.1 billion to $4.2 billion.
The company reaffirmed its 2015 target of $8.0 to $9.0 billion in product sales and adjusted earnings per share of $8.00 to $9.00. It introduced a 2017 target of $12 billion in sales and adjusted earnings per share of $13.00 to $14.00.
"Given the new long-term guidance, the company's stock looks unsustainably cheap to us," Geoff Porges, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein, said in a research note. "With multiple important events looming, the stock looks well positioned for upside in 2013."
Celgene also announced that apremilast met the primary and major secondary goals of a pair of pivotal Phase III trials of patients with chronic psoriasis.
The company said safety and tolerability of apremilast in the late-stage trials was improved over what had been observed in earlier studies.
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