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Biogen Idec 3Q Net Up 34%; Cautious Revenue View Given

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Biogen Idec Inc.'s (BIIB) third-quarter profit rose 34%, as earnings topped expectations amid cost-cutting and strong sales of the biotechnology company's Tysabri multiple-sclerosis drug. The company maintained its full-year earnings outlook, but it gave a more cautious revenue forecast, growth in the "mid to high single digits." Its prior view was an increase in the "high single digits." Biogen also announced plans to buy back up to $1 billion of stock. Its market value is about $14 billion. Shares fell 1.8% premarket to $48.50. The stock is up just 3.7% this year. Investors of late have been focusing on near-term growth prospects for Tysabri, which Biogen sells with Elan PLC. (ELN). The drug was pulled from the market for 18 months beginning in 2005 because of a suspected link to a serious brain infection. Biogen reported earnings of $277.7 million, or 95 cents a share, up from $206.8 million, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding acquisition and other costs, earnings rose to $1.12 from 98 cents. Revenue rose 2.5% to $1.12 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings, excluding items, of $1.04 a share on revenue of $1.11 billion. Tysabri sales rose 21%. Biogen said about 46,200 people worldwide were taking the drug. Avonex, the company's flagship MS drug, saw 1% growth. The latest results come as Biogen attempts to acquire drug-developer Facet Biotech Corp. (FACT). On Friday, Biogen extended its all-cash $356 million offer for Facet shares by nearly two months to Dec. 16, despite Facet's repeated insistence that it has no interest in the bid. -By Mike Barris, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2330; [email protected]

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