Alexion shares zoom higher as sales probe ends with no need for restatement, backs 2016 forecast

Alexion lab
Source: Alexion
Alexion lab

Shares of drugmaker Alexion Pharmaceuticals jumped more than 9 percent on Thursday after the company reiterated its 2016 forecast and said an internal investigation ended.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Alexion said it continues to expect last year's sales to be between $3.05 billion and $3.1 billion, and adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.50 to $4.65 a share.

The filing also disclosed that a probe into the company's sales practices for Soliris, a drug designed to treat a disease that kills red blood cells, had concluded with no need for restatements. The probe was announced in November, amid allegations of improper revenue recognition made by a former employee.

"We are pleased to have filed the third quarter 2016 Form 10-Q and that the Audit and Finance Committee's investigation did not identify any facts requiring a restatement of previously issued financial results. We have already initiated remedial actions to maintain a strong internal control environment and are committed to setting a tone at the top that is fully aligned with our ethical standards and values," CEO David Brennan said in a release.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray reiterated their "overweight" rating on the stock after the news was released.

"Perhaps not as juicy as some investors had anticipated, but at least we can seemingly put the issue to rest and move on," they said in a note.

Alexion shares tanked last year, dropping 35.86 percent, but are up nearly 15 percent to start 2017.

Alexion 12-month chartSource: FactSet