* Net income doubles from year ago to 125 mln reais
* Pharmaceutical division drives 22 pct revenue rise
* Shares up 3 percent, largest daily gain in a month
By Brad Haynes
SAO PAULO, March 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian drugmaker Hypermarcas posted a bigger-than-expected jump in quarterly profit on Thursday, sparking the sharpest rise in its stock in a month.
Fourth-quarter net income rose to 125 million reais ($64 million) from 50 million reais a year earlier, according to a securities filing, beating an average forecast of 91 million reais in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Hypermarcas shares rose nearly 3 percent in early trading, their biggest intraday gain since Feb. 5, and were approaching a nearly 22-month high.
A sharpened focus on medicine and beauty care has helped Hypermarcas regain profitability in recent quarters. The company has dropped slower-growing household goods and food brands after a string of acquisitions in recent years.
Quarterly net revenue rose 22 percent, boosted by strong drug sales, as the company expanded its offering of generics and cultivated retail relationships.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, rose 143 percent to 243 million reais, above an average forecast of 222 million reais.
Adjusted for one-time and non-cash expenses, EBITDA rose 71 percent to 230 million reais. Hypermarcas affirmed its forecast for adjusted EBITDA of about 950 million reais this year.
Hypermarcas also worked to cut down its working capital needs, reducing its cash conversion cycle to 82 days by the end of 2012, compared with 138 days a year earlier.