Gilead 2Q Profit Beats Wall Street, 2015 Sales Outlook Raised

Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday its quarterly net profit rose 32 percent, driven by sales of hepatitis C drugs that beat Wall Street estimates.

Looking ahead, Gilead raised its outlook for full-year 2015 product sales by $1 billion to between $29 billion and $30 billion. The company's shares, which rose 2.3 percent to close at $113.07 in regular Nasdaq trading, were up another 3.2 percent at $116.65 after hours.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges called the results "spectacular," adding that the higher 2015 sales forecast "suggests that there's substantial EPS upside versus current consensus."

Excluding items, Gilead earned $3.15 a share in the second quarter, exceeding the $2.71 average forecast by Wall Street analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Product sales rose 27 percent to $8.1 billion, including $4.9 billion for hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni. Analysts had expected hepatitis C drug sales of $4.27 billion, according to Deutsche Bank.

Gilead, based in Foster City, California, also raised the lower end of its full-year profit margin forecast to 88 percent from 87 percent, while leaving the top end unchanged at 90 percent. It also lowered the range for its 2015 tax rate to between 17 percent and 18 percent from a previous 18 percent to 20 percent.

"What we're seeing come through is an under appreciation of all the hepatitis C revenues available outside the U.S.," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Michael Yee. "The company raised revenue and lowered expense guidance. You can't ask for better than that."

Gilead's net income for the quarter rose to $4.5 billion, or $2.92 per share, from $3.65 billion, or $2.20 per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting By Deena Beasley and Bill Berkrot; Editing by Peter Galloway and Tom Brown)