* Share loss $0.02 vs year-earlier EPS 16 cents
* Revenue rises 15 percent to $12.4 million
* Visudyne sales drop 16 percent
(Updates with details, analyst's comment. In U.S. dollars
By Solarina Ho
TORONTO, July 27 Pharmaceuticals company QLT
Inc QLT.TO swung to a quarterly loss on Tuesday and said it
now expects sales of its key eye treatment, Visudyne, for the
full year to be near the bottom end of its previous forecast.
The company had forecast worldwide Visudyne sales in the
range of $90 million to $100 million in 2010. Visudyne sales
dropped 16 percent to $24.4 million in the second quarter,
ended June 30.
Visudyne sales have been dropping due to competition from
other recently developed treatments for age-related macular
"The results were largely as expected," said Scott Henry,
an analyst with Roth Capital Partners, who said QLT's future is
tied to new treatments it is developing as Visudyne sales
"For the outlook going forward ... you've got three data
readouts coming for three different clinical programs. So if
any of them do well, I think the stock should do well. If all
of them do poorly not a whole lot should change because you
have an enterprise value near zero -- kind of the 'heads you
win, tails you don't lose'."
QLT shares were up 4 Canadian cents at C$5.81 on the
Toronto Stock Exchange in very light mid-morning trade on
The Vancouver-based eye-care company said it lost $1
million, or 2 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared
with a year-earlier profit of $8.6 million, or 16 cents a
The 2009 quarterly profit reflected $7.7 million of income
from discontinued operations and benefited from significant net
foreign exchange gains.
Excluding items such as stock compensation expenses and
interest income related to a divestment, the company earned 12
cents a share for the 2010 quarter.
Total revenue rose 15 percent to $12.4 million despite the
decline in Visudyne sales.
The increase in sales was the result of an amendment to
QLT's agreement with Novartis AG NOVN.VX, Visudyne's
distributor. In 2010, QLT booked more revenue per dollar of
product sales than under a profit-sharing arrangement that was
in effect in 2009. [ID:nBNG501789]
The company said it has about $186.3 million in cash and no
long-term debt or other outstanding obligations.
"We continue to deliver solid financial results as we
strive to build shareholder value by appropriate spending on
R&D programs related to the pipeline of innovative drug and
technologies," said Chief Executive Bob Butchofsky during a
conference call with analysts.
For the second half of the year, QLT said it plans to
launch a phase II clinical trial of its latanoprost punctal
plug drug delivery system for glaucoma patients. A punctal plug
is a device that is inserted into the tear duct of an eye to
block the duct to prevent drainage of liquid, which causes dry
eye. It is also planning a phase II proof-of-concept study of
its olopatadine punctal plug treatment for patients with
(Additional reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; editing
by Peter Galloway)