Santarus raises full-year forecast as diabetes drug sales jump

Mon May 6, 2013 6:30pm EDT

(Reuters) - Pharmaceutical company Santarus Inc SNTS.O raised its full-year outlook for the second time this year driven by strong first-quarter sales, especially of its diabetes drug Glumetza, sending its shares up 11 percent after the bell.

Quarterly sales of Glumetza rose 33 percent to $41.5 million, while that of its heartburn drug, Zegerid, nearly tripled to $24.6 million.

The company said Zegerid prescriptions, which were impacted by generic competition and lack of promotion since 2010, had improved since the drug was relaunched in January.

Zegerid regained marketing exclusivity when a Delaware court gave a partial ruling against Par Pharmaceuticals' PRX.N plans to sell a generic version of the drug.

Santarus has five drugs on the market including Uceris, which treats a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Uceris has notched up sales of $6.6 million since its launch in February.

"Uceris is doing better than most people expected. What surprised me more was that Zegerid is also contributing upside. So that combination is what drove the strong results and what will continue to drive it," Roth Capital Partners analyst Scott Henry said.

The company now expects a profit of 72-81 cents per share on revenue of about $330 million to $340 million.

It had forecast a full-year profit of 63-68 cents per share and revenue of about $320 million to $325 million in January.

Analysts expect 2013 earnings of 76 cents per share on revenue of $339.31 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Santarus' first-quarter net profit more than tripled to $18.7 million, or 25 cents per share, from $627,000, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Product sales jumped about 74 percent to $78.5 million.

Santarus' shares were trading at $21 after the bell. They closed at $18.87 on Monday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Pallavi Ail in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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