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Genentech Profit Beats Forecasts on Strong Avastin Sales

CNBC.com
Wednesday, 11 Jul 2007 | 5:00 PM ET

Genentech said second-quarter profit on Wednesday rose 41 percent, fueled by growth from its cancer drug Avastin and Rituxan, and the company boosted its full-year profit forecast.

Genentech had a profit of 78 cents per share for the quarter excluding stock-based compensation expenses and other items and posted total operating revenue of $3.0 billion, up from $2.2 billion a year ago. Both beat Wall Street forecasts.

A consensus estimate of the Genentech's financial performance put its earnings at 71 cents a share on revenue of $2.856 billion, according to Thomson Financial.

"It was a quality quarter, with total revenue beating expectations by about $160 million," said Robert Baird & Co. analyst Chris Raymond, who noted the company had slightly raised its 2007 earnings forecast.

The company said it now expects 2007 full-year earnings per share excluding special items to grow 28 to 32 percent, which would translate into earnings of $2.85 to $2.95 per share. It had previously forecast growth of 25 to 30 percent.

Investors were focused on results for Avastin, approved to treat colon and lung cancers and getting some off-label use for breast cancer patients.

Avastin sales were $564 million for the quarter, up 33 percent.

Rituxan, the company's top-performing drug in the United States in 2006 with annual sales of $2.07 billion, brought in $582 million.

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