May 2, 2019 / 8:25 PM / 21 days ago

Gilead posts higher first-quarter profit; drug sales in line with expectations

May 2 (Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc on Thursday reported a higher first-quarter profit as sales of its important HIV and hepatitis C drugs were largely in line with Wall Street estimates.

Gilead said it still expects relatively flat full-year 2019 product sales of $21.3 billion to $21.8 billion.

The drugmaker, which hired Roche veteran Daniel O’Day to be its new chief executive as of March 1, said revenue for the quarter rose to $5.3 billion from $5.1 billion a year earlier, meeting Wall Street’s forecast, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

On an adjusted basis, Gilead said it earned $1.76 per share in the first quarter. Wall Street analysts, on average, expected $1.61.

Sales of Gilead’s HIV drugs rose to $3.6 billion from $3.2 billion, meeting analyst estimates.

But sales of hepatitis C drugs continued to fall, dropping to $790 million from $1 billion a year earlier, as newer drugs from Gilead and others have cured many patients of the liver-damaging virus and rival products have seized market share from a diminishing patient pool.

Net income rose to $2 billion, or $1.54 per share, from $1.5 billion, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier. (Reporting By Deena Beasley Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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