Celgene's fourth-quarter sales rise 17 percent, with Revlimid up 21 percent

Celgene reported Thursday that fourth-quarter sales jumped 17 percent year-over-year to $3.5 billion, with revenue from Revlimid up 21 percent at $2.2 billion. For the three-month period, the company recorded a loss of $81 million, versus a profit of $429 million in the same quarter of 2016, primarily due to a $1.2-billion provision related to tax reforms in the US.

For the full year, sales climbed 16 percent to $13 billion, with Revlimid revenue rising 17 percent to $8.2 billion. Meanwhile, net income for 2017 reached $2.9 billion, compared to $2 billion a year earlier.

In October last year, Celgene revised its guidance for 2017, projecting full-year revenue of $13 billion, down from a prior estimate in the range of $13 billion to $13.4 billion. At the time, the drugmaker also updated its 2020 outlook to revenue in the range of $19 billion to $20 billion, down from an earlier estimate of over $21 billion.

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Regarding other products, quarterly revenue from Otezla jumped 22 percent year-over-year to $371 million, besting expectations of $337 million. Full-year sales of the therapy reached $1.3 billion, up 26 percent versus 2016.

In the three-month period, Celgene's R&D costs reached $2.7 billion, up from $1.1 billion in the prior-year quarter. The increase came after the company announced in October that it will discontinue two Phase III studies of the investigational oral antisense therapy mongersen in Crohn's disease on the recommendation of a data monitoring committee following a recent interim futility analysis.

Earlier this week, Celgene inked an agreement to purchase Juno Therapeutics for about $9 billion, gaining rights to the experimental CAR-T therapy JCAR017. The drugmaker also recently agreed to acquire Impact Biomedicines in a deal worth as much as $7 billion.

For the current year, Celgene indicated that overall sales are forecast to be between $14.4 billion and $14.8 billion, with Revlimid revenue of around $9.4 billion. Further, annual earnings per share are estimated to be in the range of $8.70 to $8.90. The company noted that the purchase of Juno isn't included in the guidance and will likely reduce earnings per share by $0.50.

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