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Imclone Revenues Jump 34%, Earnings Miss Estimates by a Penny

Growing sales of the Erbitux cancer treatment helped Imclone Systems' fourth quarter earnings jump to 40 cents a share from 15 cents a share a year ago. Revenues rose 34% to $132.2 million.

But the results were below analysts' consensus. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 41 cents a share and revenues of $155 million.

Imclone reported Erbitux sales by marketing partner Bristol-Myers Squibb rose 38% to $167.2 million. CNBC's Mike Huckman says the Erbitux sales are $13 million below analysts had expected.

The company will host a webcast at 11 am New York time.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn won his battle for control of Imclone during the quarter after the board named him chairman in October. He was elected to the board during the third quarter and had been fighting to make several executive changes. Interim chief executive Joseph L. Fischer resigned immediately following Icahn's election victory.

Icahn previously said one of his top priorities is finding a new CEO.

In November, the company reported mixed results from two late-stage studies of its cancer treatment Erbitux, which is also its only marketed drug. The drug is approved to treat colon cancer and head and neck cancer.

In January, results from one study adding the drug to standard chemotherapy increased the survival rate of colon cancer patients. Imclone and its partner Bristol-Myers Squibb plan to file for approval of Erbitux as a first-line treatment for colon and pancreatic cancer.

Analysts expect sales of Erbitux to either meet or miss Wall Street expectations, with several citing the competition from Amgen's Vectibix as a factor in lost market share. Analysts are generally staying on the sidelines, taking a wait-and-see approach based on Erbitux numbers and management strategy.