Gilead posts solid 4th-quarter results and announces stock buyback and dividend; shares slip

Markets Associated Press

Gilead Sciences Inc. said Tuesday that sales of its newest hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, totaled $2.11 billion in the fourth quarter.

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The Food and Drug Administration approved Harvoni in October. The daily pill can cure the most common form of hepatitis C without the grueling pill-and-injection cocktail long used to treat the virus.

The hepatitis C and HIV drugmaker reported better-than-expected quarterly results and said it will start paying a cash dividends as well.

Gilead earned net income of $3.49 billion, or $2.18 per share, in the fourth quarter. Excluding one-time charges, Gilead earned $2.43 per share. Its revenue more than doubled to $7.31 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings per share of $2.17 on revenue of $6.69 billion.

Gilead reported $1.73 billion in quarterly revenue from another hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, which was approved in December 2013. It reported $10.28 billion in revenue from Sovaldi for all of 2014. Gilead has faced complaints over the prices of the drugs, which come to $1,125 per pill for Harvoni and $1,100 a pill for Sovaldi.

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Gilead expects $26 billion to $27 billion in revenue in 2015. According to FactSet, analysts expect $28.67 billion in revenue, on average.

The Foster City, California-based company plans to buy back up to $15 billion in stock. The company announced a separate repurchase authorization of $5 billion worth of shares in May, and it has bought back around $2 billion in stock since then.

The company also said it will start paying dividends in the second quarter, declaring a payment of 43 cents.

Gilead shares rose 99 cents to $107.18 in regular trading Tuesday, and they are up 14 percent in 2015. In aftermarket trading, the stock declined $5.45, or 5.1 percent, to $101.73.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on GILD at http://www.zacks.com/ap/GILD

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Keywords: Gilead Sciences, Earnings Report