January 25, 2018 / 11:53 AM / a year ago

Biogen forecasts robust 2018, quarterly revenue beats on Spinraza sales

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Biogen Inc on Thursday reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat Wall Street estimates on higher sales for its drug Spinraza and forecast an upbeat 2018, sending its shares up 3 percent in premarket trading.

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Despite facing stiff competition for its key multiple sclerosis drugs, Biogen said it expected 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be between $24.20 and $25.20, above consensus estimates of $24.16, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue for 2018 is expected to be in the range of $12.7 billion to $13 billion. Analysts on average expected $12.7 billion.

“The numbers look good,” Cowen analyst Eric Schmidt told Reuters, especially for a company that often tends to give conservative forecasts.

In the fourth quarter, Biogen’s recently launched drug Spinraza, a treatment for muscle-wasting disease spinal muscular atrophy, powered a 15.3 percent surge in the company’s revenue.

A potential blockbuster, Spinraza raked in $363 million in the quarter, beating the consensus estimates of $319 million, according to brokerage Cowen & Co.

Biogen recorded a quarterly loss compared with a year-ago profit, hurt by an income tax charge of $1.57 billion due to U.S. tax code overhaul.

Net loss attributable to Biogen was $297.4 million, or $1.40 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31. The company had a profit of $649.2 million, or $2.99 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $5.26 per share and drew in a revenue of $3.31 billion.

On average, analysts were expecting $5.45 per share on a revenue of $3.08 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Biogen on Thursday also added to its pipeline of drugs to treat neurological disorders by acquiring an experimental treatment from Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.

Shares of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company were trading at $357 before the bell.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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