Salix first-quarter earnings beat Wall Street estimates

Posted by David Bracken on May 9, 2014 

Salix Pharmaceuticals reported first-quarter earnings late Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates, as revenue increased 90 percent.

The Raleigh company reported non-GAAP earnings of $77.8 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to $40.1 million, or 63 cents per share during the first quarter of 2013. That was well above the 91 cents forecast by Wall Street analysts who cover the company, according to Bloomberg.

Salix reported a net loss of $43.9 million, or 60 cents per shares, in GAAP earnings, which included $86.4 million in costs related to its $2.6 billion acquisition of the specialty drug company Santarus.

Revenue for the quarter totaled $384.4 million, which beat the $372.5 million that was forecast by analysts.

Salix sells drugs to treat gastrointestinal ailments. The company's revenue growth in the quarter was driven by the Santarus deal. Santarus' drugs focus on similar areas of treatment, and include Uceris, a treatment for ulcerative colitis, and the heartburn treatment Zegerid.

Sales of Salix’s best-selling drug Xifaxan, which is approved to treat travelers' diarrhea and a rare liver condition, totaled $114.3 million in the quarter.

In a statement, CEO Carolyn Logan said sales of Xifaxan and the company’s drug Apriso were below prescription demand in the quarter “as wholesalers and drug chains focused on securing Santarus’ products to establish inventories.”

She said the company expects those levels to return to normal in the second quarter, and that Salix remains on track to meet its goal of $1.6 billion in revenue this year.

“Looking ahead, we continue to be optimistic about teh future trajectory for the business drive by organic growth and potential product expansions,” Logan said.

Salix shares, which opened Friday at $105.81, were down $1 in mid-morning trading. The stock is up 16 percent this year.

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