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Earnings

Celgene's Revlimid sales spark forecast raise, shares jump

(Reuters) - U.S. biotechnology company Celgene Corp CELG.O raised its profit and revenue forecast for the year after posting third-quarter results ahead of Wall Street estimates, lifted by higher demand for its flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid.

Celgene’s shares jumped about 6.9 percent to $105.29 in Thursday morning trading.

The drugmaker’s top-selling treatment generated sales of $1.89 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $1.74 billion, according to Barclays. Revlimid sales accounted for about two-thirds of Celgene’s total revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Revlimid is in “beast mode” and had a “monster” quarter, Cowen & Co analyst Eric Schmidt wrote in a client note, adding that European sales may finally be seeing the inflection that investors had hoped for following reimbursement approval in previously untreated myeloma patients.

With Revlimid sales driven by new patient market share gains and longer duration of use, Celgene raised its full-year sales forecast for the medicine to $7 billion from $6.8 billion.

Data from multiple studies on the drug is still to come, which could be a major growth driver for Revlimid, Celgene executives highlighted on a post-earnings call.

Celgene also upped its adjusted full-year earnings forecast to a range of $5.88-$5.92 per share from a previous forecast of $5.70-$5.75 per share.

The Summit, New Jersey-based company revised its revenue forecast to $11.2 billion from a previous estimate of $11 billion.

The drugmaker said it now expected adjusted earnings and net product sales in the higher end of its projected 2017 forecast, and sales of Revlimid to cross $8 billion.

Celgene has forecast full-year 2017 earnings of $6.75-$7.00 per share on net product sales of $12.7 billion-$13.0 billion.

The company’s new psoriasis drug Otezla, which is also being tested for atopic dermatitis and ulcerative colitis, generated sales of $274.6 million in the third-quarter, roughly in line with the consensus estimate of $275 million.

Its cancer treatment Abraxane generated sales of $233 million, trailing the consensus estimate by $17 million, while its other multiple myeloma drug Pomalyst brought in $341.1 million, ahead of expectations of $327 million.

Excluding items, Celgene earned $1.58 per share in the quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate by 10 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue rose about 28 percent to $2.98 billion, in the quarter, above the average analyst estimate of $2.83 billion, driven primarily by rising sales volumes.

Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto

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