April 30, 2009 / 11:21 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 3-Shire rules out ADHD sale, posts healthy Q1

* Does not see logic of ADHD sale

* Q1 revenue $818 million, vs forecast $811 million

* EPS $1.28, vs forecasts $1.11, keeps full-year guidance

* Vyvanse sales rise 114 percent

* Shares up 2.4 percent (Adds analyst reaction)

By Ben Deighton

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Shire SHP.L, Britain’s third-biggest drugmaker, ruled out spinning off its blockbuster Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) business on Thursday as it posted first-quarter revenues just ahead of expectations, boosted by sales of new products.

Earnings were helped by lower-than-expected costs, and, at 1255 GMT, Shire shares were trading up 2.4 percent at 885 pence.

The hyperactivity and specialist drug company maintained its full-year outlook as it reported revenue of $818 million, against $811 million forecast by a range of 11 analysts provided by the company.

Shire reported adjusted earnings per American Depository Share $1.28, beating consensus of $1.11.

“Shire reported good Q1 2009 results with gross margins particularly pleasing,” said analyst Savvas Neophytou at Panmure Gordon in a note to clients.

“Q1 2009 was expected to be a good quarter against an undemanding base, but the rest of the year remains on a knife-edge with generic competition to Adderall XR and how that may impact key growth driver Vyvanse,” he added.

Sales of its lead drug, the hyperactivity medicine Adderall XR rose 13 percent to $295.8 million, and sales of the newer Vyvanse rose by 114 percent to $116.6 million.

Shire is reducing its traditional reliance on drugs to treat ADHD, by acquiring other specialist business but Chief Executive Angus Russell said it did not make sense to sell off the ADHD operations.

“I don’t quite follow the logic of selling the franchise. To us, it’s a very important franchise; it will continue to drive Shire’s growth internationally many years into the future,” he said in a conference call.

His comments follow suggestions from some analysts that the company could spin out the unit.

Shire is pinning its hopes on Vyvanse and its portfolio of human genetic therapy drugs to replace revenue from Adderall XR, which is facing generic competition.

Shire stock trades at 12.7 times estimated 2009 earnings, compared with British peers AstraZeneca (AZN.L) which trades at 7.6 times and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) which trades at 9.0 times. (Editing by Hans Peters and Rupert Winchester)

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