Gilead 4Q Profit Falls Short of Street View

Features Reuters

Gilead Sciences Inc's quarterly profit rose nearly 6 percent as sales at the world's largest maker of HIV drugs increased 11 percent, but costs also rose and the results released on Thursday came in short of Wall Street expectations.

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Adjusting for one-time items, Gilead earned 97 cents a share in the fourth quarter, which was below the average Wall Street forecast of $1.05 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee attributed the miss to higher expenses from clinical trials and milestone payments.

Looking ahead, Gilead forecast 2012 product sales of $8.6 billion to $8.8 billion, research and development costs of $1.33 billion to $1.4 billion and sales, general and administrative costs of $1.23 billion to $1.3 billion.

"The 2012 guidance has product revenues a little light, but expenses higher," Yee said in an emailed statement. "This is due to the inclusion of Pharmasset and the significant investments into HCV (hepatitis C virus) next year."

Gilead recently acquired HCV drug developer Pharmasset for more than $11 billion.

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For the fourth quarter, Gilead's total revenue rose 10 percent to $2.2 billion. Analysts had expected $2.18 billion.

Expenses for the quarter rose nearly 14 percent to $1.33 billion.

Product sales increased 11 percent to $2.13 billion, driven mainly by sales of HIV drug Atripla, which totaled $863.3 million for the quarter, compared with the $837 million forecast by analysts.

Shares of Gilead, which have gained 20 percent so far this year and closed at $49.31 on Thursday, slipped 0.6 percent to $49.01 in after-hours trade.