By Associated Press,
Drug maker Biogen reported a 28 percent increase in profits for the fourth quarter after royalties more than doubled following a legal settlement, and offsetting a drop in sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Avonex.
The company reported fourth quarter net income of $81 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with $58 million, or 39 cents per share a year ago.
The company said royalties rose from $21 million to $46 million for the quarter, following a settlement with drug maker Schering-Plough Corp. in a dispute over royalties on U.S. sales of alpha interferon products, which treat hepatitis C.
Excluding a $37 million gain from the settlement and a $15 million charge for establishing a philanthropic organization, net income for the quarter was $65 million, or 43 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had predicted earnings of 42 cents per share. Excluding charges, the company reported earnings of $73 million, or 48 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Revenues for the 2002 quarter were $302 million, compared with $281 million a year ago. Revenues from product sales were $256 million, falling from $259 million a year ago.
For the year, the company reported a 12 percent drop in earnings, from $272 million, or $1.78 per share, to $239 million, or $1.57 per share, including charges worth 2 cents per share. Revenues rose 10 percent, from $1.04 billion to $1.15 billion.
The company said it expects revenue growth in the mid-teens for 2003.
It projected softer growth in the first half of the year as it launches
its new psoriasis drug, Amevive.
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