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Allergan smashes earnings estimates, says a trial for its migraine drug succeeds

  • Allergan beats fourth-quarter earnings and revenue estimates with increasing Botox cosmetics demand.
  • Allergan also says the first of two key trials for its migraine treatment was successful.
Brent Saunders, CEO, Allergan
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Brent Saunders, CEO, Allergan

Allergan on Tuesday smashed expectations for fourth-quarter adjusted earnings and said the first of two key trials for its migraine treatment was successful.

Here's how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:

  • EPS: $4.86 vs. Thomson Reuters' survey projection of $4.74.
  • Revenue: $4.33 billion vs. Thomson Reuters' $4.28 billion estimate.

In the fourth quarter, the pharmaceutical company reported a net income of $3.05 billion, or $8.88 per share, compared with a loss of $70.2 million or 20 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter.

However, after stripping out special items, such as costs associated with Allergan's restructuring program, the company earned $2.17 billion, or $4.86 per share, above analysts' estimates of $4.74 cents per share.

Allergan clocked $4.33 billion in revenue, up 12 percent from a year earlier and above expectations of $4.28 billion. Worldwide Botox sales reached $864.3 million, up 17 percent from a year earlier.

Restasis gained slightly to generate $414.9 million in global sales, up about 1 percent from the previous year. Allergan CEO Brent Saunders has told investors generic entrants aren't likely to hit the market before the second quarter.

Allergan also released top-line results of the ACHIEVE I study, which measured orally administered ubrogepant 50 mg and ubrogepant 100 mg compared with a placebo in a single migraine attack of moderate-to-severe headache intensity.

Allergan found the most common adverse events to be nausea, drowsiness and dry mouth, none of which was reported with a frequency greater than 5 percent.

"We are pleased with the favorable results of our ACHIEVE I study, which support the efficacy, safety and tolerability profile of ubrogepant," said David Nicholson, Allergan's chief research and development officer. "We are confident that ubrogepant, an oral calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist will be an option for the treatment of migraines in adults."

Next quarter, Allergan anticipates revenue to range between $3.5 billion and $3.6 billion and adjusted earnings between $3.20 and $3.40 per share. Street estimates are $3.72 billion and $3.71 earnings per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

For 2018, the company forecasts revenue between $15 billion and $15.3 billion. The Street had been anticipating $15.33 billion. It expects adjusted earnings to range between $15.25 and $16 per share, compared with analysts' estimates of $15.50 per share.

Shares of Allergan rose 2 percent.

(Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated net income in the latest period.)