UPDATE 2-Celgene profit rises but revised outlook disappoints

Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:01pm EDT

* Second-quarter adjusted EPS $0.90 vs Street view $0.89

* Raises 2014 revenue, adjusted earnings-per-share forecast

* Shares down 3.7 percent (Adds analyst, company comment, share move)

By Bill Berkrot

July 24 (Reuters) - Celgene Corp reported a 25 percent rise in second-quarter profit, edging out Wall Street expectations, but a raised 2014 forecast failed to excite investors and its shares fell nearly 4 percent.

The U.S. biotechnology company said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings of $3.60 to $3.65 per share and revenue of $7.60 billion. It had previously forecast earnings of $3.50 to $3.60 per share and revenue of $7.50 billion.

"They beat by a penny and raised guidance but only met consensus (expectation), which was already above management's projections," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee. "So lots of biotech investors are continuing to flock to Gilead and Biogen, which have more near-term earnings upside and catalysts coming."

Gilead Sciences Inc and Biogen Idec Inc on Wednesday both crushed Wall Street earnings expectations as Gilead's new hepatitis drug Sovaldi racked up a stunning $3.5 billion in second-quarter sales and Biogen's multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera continued one of the most impressive new drug launches overshadowed only by Sovaldi.

"Celgene was fine but disappointed the bulls after a big recent stock run to its all time highs," said Yee.

Celgene, which is expected to have several potential catalysts for share increases in 2015, had seen its shares rise nearly 30 percent since early April.

Net profit rose to $597.8 million, or 72 cents per share, from $478.1 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier, driven by increased duration of therapy for the company's flagship cancer drug Revlimid. Its sales rose 15 percent to $1.21 billion for the quarter.

Excluding special items, Celgene earned 90 cents per share, topping analysts' average expectations by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The next big catalyst for Revlimid will be a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision expected in February on whether the drug can be used as a first-line, or initial, therapy for multiple myeloma rather than after a prior treatment has failed.

Sales of Abraxane for breast, lung and pancreatic cancer jumped 39 percent to $215 million.

The company expects full-year Revlimid sales of $4.95 billion and Abraxane sales of $850 million to $900 million.

Total revenue rose 17 percent to $1.87 billion.

Celgene's Otezla for psoriatic arthritis had just $5 million in sales in its first quarter as most new patients began therapy with free samples, the company said.

"We are highly confident in our forecast for Otezla sales in the second half and beyond," Chief Financial Officer Jacqualyn Fouse said on a conference call.

Celgene has forecast annual Otezla sales reaching $1.5 billion to $2 billion by 2017.

It said Otezla sales in July would exceed second-quarter sales, and it could win expanded U.S. approval in September for psoriasis.

Celgene shares were down $3.36, or 3.7 percent, at $85.75. (Additional reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel and James Dalgleish)

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