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Celgene beats, ups outlook

July 28, 2017

Celgene Corp rode its flagship multiple myeloma drug Revlimid and a rebound in sales of Otezla for psoriasis to a modestly higher-than-expected second-quarter profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast on Thursday.

But the solid results failed to impress investors and Celgene shares, which are up about 17 percent for the year, slipped 1 percent to $136.40 after touching a two-year high of $139.

Analysts said the results may have come up short of investors’ lofty expectations for Celgene.

Revlimid sales rose 19.6 percent to $2.03 billion on increases in duration of use and new reimbursement agreements in Europe.

Celgene said duration of Revlimid use was now well beyond 20 months in the United States and expects duration in Europe to become similar. It added that it has not yet seen the full sales impact of longer Revlimid use by patients.

“Revlimid looks to have a bright future, including much remaining patent exclusivity and the opportunity to grow penetration in U.S. and ex-U.S. markets based upon recent label expansions,” Cowen and Co analyst Eric Schmidt said.

Sales of Otezla, which had investors nervous after a surprisingly weak first quarter, bounced back, rising 48.5 percent to $358 million, exceeding Wall Street estimates of $345 million.

However Celgene head of inflammation and immunology, Terrie Curran, cautioned that full-year Otezla sales would likely come in at the low end of its $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion forecast.

Celgene provided updates on its large portfolio of pipeline opportunities it believes can drive growth through 2030.

The company expects U.S. approval of the leukemia drug Idhifa, developed with Agios Pharmaceuticals, by late August, and plans to file for approval of ozanimod for multiple sclerosis by year end.

Celgene forecast eventual ozanimod annual sales for MS and ulcerative colitis to climb as high as $6 billion.

It is also developing a wide variety of treatments for blood cancers and solid tumor cancers.

Excluding items, Celgene earned $1.82 per share in the quarter, beating average analysts’ expectations by 4 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Celgene raised its 2017 adjusted earnings forecast and now expects $7.25 to $7.35 per share, up from its prior view of $7.15 to $7.30 per share. Analysts were estimating $7.28 per share.

Revenue rose 18.7 percent to $3.27 billion, above average analysts estimate of $3.23 billion

The company said volume was the prime driver of product sales growth with a modest contribution from price increases.

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