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Biogen Earnings Fall Short of Analysts' Targets

Biotechnology company Biogen Idec, which put itself up for sale earlier this month, reported third-quarter earnings and revenue Tuesday that fell short of analysts' expectations.

Net profit fell to $119 million, or 41 cents a share, from $157 million, or 45 cents a share, a year earlier, as one-time expenses offset higher sales of its drugs for multiple sclerosis and cancer.

Excluding special items, the company earned 58 cents a share. Analysts had expected 64 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

"Despite the disappointing results, we expect Biogen's shares to remain buoyant given the company's recent announcement that it is entertaining potential buyers," said Geoffrey Meacham, an analyst at JP Morgan.

Biogen's shares were recently trading down 1.4 percent on Tuesday.

"Well on Track"

Revenue rose 12 percent to $789 million but that fell short of the $802.4 million forecast by analysts.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said, however, that it is "well on track" to meet its previously forecast outlook for the year.

Biogen said it expects revenue growth of 16 percent to 18 percent in 2007. It expects earnings excluding items of $2.60 to $2.70 a share.

The company said revenue from its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug rose 2 percent in the third quarter to $455 million. U.S. sales were $266 million.

The company recognized $63 million from Tysabri, its newest multiple sclerosis drug which it markets in partnership with Elan.

Biogen shares have risen 62 percent this year. By comparison, the American Stock Exchange Biotech Index is up nearly 10 percent.

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