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Genentech Profit Falls Short, but Firm Raises Outlook

Genentech earnings fell short of analysts' expectations, but the company's shares rose slightly in extended trading as the firm lifted its profit forecast for the full year.

Genetech
AP
Genetech

Excluding items, the biotechnology firm reported earnings of $782 million, or 82 cents a share, on sales of $3.24 billion, compared with a profit of 78 cents a share on a topline of $3 billion last year.

Analysts saw the company reporting a profit of 86 cents a share on sales of $3.23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shares of the company , which lost 3.04 percent to close at $75.39 Monday, were up less than 1 percent.

Genentech, which was seen reporting a full-year profit of between $3.35 and $3.45 a share, said it now expects to earn $3.40 to $3.50 a share.

U.S. sales of Avastin, Genentech's most closely watched product, rose 15 percent to $650 million for the quarter, beating the $643 million expected by analysts, as compiled by Rodman & Renshaw analyst Mike King.

Avastin, used for treating colon and lung cancers, won additional approval earlier this year as a treatment for breast cancer.

Genentech's Sales of Rituxan for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis rose 12 percent to $651 million, also outstripping the $630 million expected by Wall Street.

U.S. Sales of breast cancer drug Herceptin rose 3 percent to $338 million for the quarter, falling short of analyst expectations of $345 million.

Net royalty revenue jumped 30 percent to $629 million, helped by favorable foreign exchange rates against the weak dollar. Roche Holding, which owns a majority stake in Genentech and sells its drugs outside the United States, pays royalties in Swiss francs.

Avastin Warning

Separately, Genentech has warned doctors about a type of anemia seen in patients treated with the company's blockbuster cancer drug Avastin in combination with Pfizer's Sutent in a clinical trial, U.S. regulators said in a notice issued on Monday.

The cases of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia seen in a Phase 1 kidney cancer study led to the closure of a mid-stage trial of Avastin plus Sutent, Genentech said in a letter to doctors that was posted on the Food and Drug Administration's website.

The combination of Avastin plus Sutent is not approved or recommended, the company's letter said.

Avastin, which is approved to treat colon, lung and breast cancer, is widely considered to be Genentech's most important product.

- Reuters contributed to this report.