Allergan profit rises, helped by Botox migraine use

Tue Feb 5, 2013 11:04am EST

(Reuters) - Allergan Inc (AGN.N), maker of the Botox anti-wrinkle treatment, said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter earnings rose, helped by growing sales of Botox for the recently approved use of treating migraine headaches and demand for the company's eye-care drugs.

The company said it earned $324 million, or $1.06 per share, in the fourth quarter. That compared with $280 million, or 90 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Excluding special items, Allergan said it earned $1.15 per share in the quarter. Analysts, on average, had expected $1.18 per share.

The company said fourth-quarter earnings excluded a 2012 research and development tax credit of 6 cents per share, which it will book instead in the first quarter of this year.

Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen said the earnings were three cents per share below Wall Street forecasts due to delayed recognition of the R&D tax credit. If not for the delay in the tax credit, he said the results would have topped expectations by 3 cents per share.

Global company sales rose 7.4 percent to $1.48 billion, in line with Wall Street's expectations.

For 2013, Allergan said it expects earnings of $4.75 per share to $4.83 per share, excluding special items and the R&D tax credit. Biegelsen said the midpoint of that forecast was above the average analyst estimate of $4.74 per share.

Sales of Botox rose 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter to $475 million. Sales of prescription eye drugs, the company's biggest business, rose 7.1 percent to $706 million.

Breast implant sales rose 5.8 percent to $91 million.

However, the company's Lap-Band surgical device to treat obesity continued to weigh on results. Sales at the company's obesity intervention unit, which includes Lap-Band, fell almost 22 percent to $37 million.

Allergan, after completing a strategic review, said it plans to sell the unit and hopes to find a buyer by the first half of the year.

Allergan shares rose 1.9 percent to $107.05 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Dan Grebler)

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