Biogen posts earnings of $4.50 a share vs $4.08 expected

Biogen's quarterly profit breezed past Wall Street's estimates, driven by higher demand for its key oral multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera.

Shares of Biogen rose about 7 percent in premarket trading immediately following the announcement. (Get the latest

Tecfidera sales were about $993 million, helped by inventory stocking, topping consensus estimate of $930 million, compiled by Evercore ISI.

Total revenue rose 7.5 percent to $2.84 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.71 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $831.6 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $883.5 million a year earlier.

On a per share basis, earnings rose to $3.77 from $3.74 due to fewer shares outstanding.

Excluding special items, Biogen earned $4.50 per share, handily beating Wall Street expectations of $4.08.

Analysts had expected Biogen to report earnings of about $4.08 a share on $2.71 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

George Scangos, CEO of Biogen.
High drug prices bring forth innovation: Scangos
A Biogen Idec lab technician
Biogen cuts 11% of workforce in restructuring

Biogen, along with the rest of the biopharmaceutical sector, has been under pressure amidst the public's ongoing drug-pricing debate. Earlier this month on CNBC's "Closing Bell," CEO George Scangos reflected on the impact of the hot button issue.

"I think it's interesting to look backwards because we have raised our prices of drugs, and we did use that money to bring forth new compounds," said Scangos at the time.

Last quarter, Biogen announced a restructuring that involved cutting 11 percent of its workforce.

—CNBC's Christine Wang contributed to this report.