Gilead results beat Street estimates as demand grows for HIV drug

(Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc GILD.O beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue and profit on Tuesday, driven by higher sales of HIV treatments, and the U.S. drugmaker raised its full-year sales forecast.

FILE PHOTO: A Gilead Sciences, Inc. logo is seen outside the company headquarters in Foster City, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

California-based Gilead said it now expects 2019 sales of $21.6 billion to $22.1 billion in 2019, up from its prior forecast of $21.3 billion to $21.8 billion.

The biotechnology company said second-quarter adjusted earnings were $1.82 per share, beating the average analyst estimate by 10 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“Gilead’s results were very solid. They raised guidance by 300 million bucks,” said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.

“Biktarvy was strong,” Yee said of Gilead’s new HIV treatment. “The one really interesting surprise was that the hepatitis C business beat again by $100 million and was up sequentially.”

Sales of HIV drugs, which accounted for about 71% of total sales, rose to $4.04 billion from $3.67 billion a year ago, driven by $1.12 billion in sales of Biktarvy.

Hepatitis C drug sales fell to $842 million from $1.0 billion, but still beat the $714 million forecast by analysts.

Many patients have been cured of the liver-damaging virus and rival products, particularly from AbbVie ABBV.N, have captured market share from a shrinking patient pool.

Total revenue for the quarter rose slightly to $5.69 billion from $5.65 billion, topping analysts’ estimate $5.53 billion.

The company is expanding into other therapeutic areas under Chief Executive Officer Daniel O'Day, a Roche ROG.S veteran who took charge in March. The new CEO has made strengthening Gilead's drug development pipeline, both internally and through acquisitions or partnerships, his first priority.

Gilead earlier this month announced a $5.1 billion investment in European biotech Galapagos NV GLPG.AS, deepening a partnership that gives the company access to fibrosis and arthritis treatments.

Gilead Sciences shares were down 13 cents at $66.96 in after hours trading.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru and Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Bill Berkrot