Alexion Pharma sees Soliris sales topping $2 bln in 2014

Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:14am EST

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc said it expected revenue from its blood disorder drug, Soliris, to hit the $2 billion mark in 2014, sending its shares up 27 percent to a life-high.

The company reported fourth-quarter results and forecast full-year results ahead of analysts' expectations, helped by soaring sales of the drug.

Soliris is the company's sole drug. It is the only approved treatment for two rare, life-threating blood disorders, allowing Alexion to command a hefty price.

The drug is also being developed for other orphan indications, or condition affecting less than 200,000 people.

Sales from Soliris rose about 38 percent to $441.9 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. Sales are expected to rise to between $2 billion to $2.02 billion in 2014 from $1.55 billion in 2013.

Analysts on average were expecting sales of $430.7 million in the fourth quarter and sales of $1.96 billion in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Alexion forecast 2014 adjusted earnings of $3.70 to $3.80 per share, higher than analysts' estimate of $3.46.

Net loss for the fourth quarter was $19 million, or 10 cents per share, including a $95.8 million non-cash tax expense and a $33.5 million expense related to the impairment of intangible assets.

The company earned $81 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 87 cents per share in the latest quarter, beating the analysts' average estimate of 83 cents per share.

Shares of the company were trading up 23 percent at $164.34 in morning trading on Thursday on the Nasdaq. The stock hit a life-high of $169.98 earlier. (Reporting by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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