Biotechnology firm Celgene Corp (CELG.O) reported a first-quarter profit that edged past analysts' estimates on strong demand for its cancer drugs, Revlimid and Abraxane, and it raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Celgene now expects 2013 adjusted earnings of $5.55 to $5.65 per share, up from $5.50 to $5.60 per share. It also reiterated its sales forecast of $6 billion.
The company's forecast, however, lagged analysts' average estimates of earnings of $5.70 per share and revenue of $6.13 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net income fell to $384.9 million, or 89 cents per share, in the first quarter from $401.5 million, or 90 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.37 per share, compared with analysts' estimates of $1.35 per share.
Total revenue rose 15 percent to $1.46 billion, slightly below analysts' estimate of $1.47 billion.
Sales of Revlimid, the multiple myeloma drug that received full regulatory approval in China in February, rose 16 percent to $1.0 billion, driven by overall market share gains and increased duration of therapy.
Celgene had said then that it expected the drug to be available to Chinese patients late in the second quarter.
Multiple myeloma is the second-most-commonly diagnosed blood cancer.
Summit, New Jersey-based Celgene also received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a new multiple myeloma drug, Pomalyst, in February.
Sales of Abraxane, which is used to treat breast and lung cancer, rose 18 percent to $123 million, helped by higher sales in Japan and Europe. The results reflected the first full quarter of sales after the drug was launched to treat non-small-cell lung cancer in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Sales of Vidaza, a drug for the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome, rose 10 percent to $204 million, helped by higher demand in the United States, Europe and Latin America.
Celgene shares were up 2 percent at 120.65 before the bell. They closed at $118.28 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)