April 24, 2014 / 12:41 PM / in 4 years

Alexion Pharma raises 2014 profit forecast on strong Soliris sales

April 24 (Reuters) - Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc reported stronger-than-expected adjusted net earnings due to robust sales of its sole product on the market, Soliris, and it raised its full-year profit forecast for the second time in less than two months.

The drugmaker’s shares rose about 5 percent before the bell.

The company raised its full-year adjusted earnings per share guidance to $4.75-$4.85 from $4.37-$4.47, which it forecast on March 10.

Soliris, which costs about $440,000 per patient a year, is the only approved treatment for two potentially fatal conditions that can damage vital organs including the kidneys, heart and brain.

Alexion’s net income rose to $159.4 million, or 79 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $82.2 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, earnings were $1.53 per share.

Net product sales rose about 67 percent to $566.6 million, which includes the reimbursement of prior-year Soliris shipments related to an $87.8 million agreement with the French government.

Analysts had expected earnings of $1.26 per share on revenue of $560.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Cheshire, Connecticut-based Alexion’s shares were at $160.02 in premarket trading after closing at $152.23 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. (Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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