* 4th-qtr net profit rises 15 pct to $762.5 mln
* Revenue rises 18 pct to $2.59 bln
* Forecasts 2013 product sales of $10 bln-$10.2 bln
* R&D, SG&A spending set to rise
By Deena Beasley
Feb 1 Gilead Sciences Inc on Monday
reported higher-than- expected quarterly profit and revenue as
sales of its flagship HIV drugs beat Wall Street estimates.
The company also said costs will rise this year as it ramps
up development of new hepatitis C drugs.
"They beat handily on the top line and they beat on the
bottom line by 2 cents," while suggesting that up to $100
million in sales were due to inventory stock-up, said RBC
Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee.
For full-year 2013, the company forecast net product sales
of $10 billion to $10.2 billion, which Yee called "conservative"
following record sales of more than $2.5 billion in the latest
quarter. Gilead reported sales of $9.4 billion for 2012.
"They're taking advantage of the positive sentiment about
their HCV (hepatitis C virus) portfolio to substantially ramp
their R&D (research and development) and SG&A (sales, general
and administrative) investment," Sanford Bernstein analyst
Geoffrey Porges said in an emailed statement. "Investors are
likely to remain quite bullish about HCV given progress and
Gilead is the world's largest maker of branded drugs to
treat the human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS, but
its near-term value is tightly linked to progress in developing
new drugs to treat the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus.
The company, based in Foster City, California, said earlier
on Monday that two late-stage trials of its experimental
hepatitis C regimens met their goals and it remains on track for
file for initial regulatory approvals this year.
Up to 170 million people worldwide are estimated to be
infected with hepatitis C.
Adjusting for one-time items, Gilead earned 50 cents a share
during the quarter, exceeding the 48 cents a share forecast, on
average, by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net profit rose to $762.5 million, or 47 cents per share,
from $665.1 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.
Sales of HIV drug Atripla rose 6 percent to $917.5 million,
which beat the $874 million expected by analysts, according to
numbers published by ISI Group. Sales of HIV drug Truvada rose
12 percent to $832.7 million, surpassing analysts' estimate of
Revenue for the quarter rose 18 percent to $2.59 billion.
Analysts expected $2.43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Shares of Gilead, which have gained 45 percent over the past
12 months, closed at $39.59 on the Nasdaq, and were little
changed at $39.75 in after hours trading.